Marvista Elementary wins $20,000 Symetra Heroes in the Classroom Award

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Symetra and the Seattle Seahawks recently awarded Marvista Elementary School in Normandy Park with the 2017 Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® “MVP Award.”

The $20,000 education grant will fund “Calm Classrooms,” an innovative student achievement program focused on providing tools and supports for students to use inside the classroom to help regulate emotions and energy in order to maintain an optimal learning environment for all.

“Symetra is proud to act as a catalyst for innovative programs that benefit our community schools. ‘Calm Classrooms’ tackles a very real issue in a positive, proactive way,” said Tracy Wort, assistant director, Community Relations at Symetra. “Together with the Seahawks, we applaud educators like the Marvista team working to address critical classroom challenges so that all students benefit — they are the true MVPs.”

Here’s more info from Symetra:

“Calm Classrooms” was announced as the grant recipient during an April 27 luncheon in the Coach’s Loft at CenturyLink Field celebrating the 16 King County teachers recognized as Symetra Heroes in the Classroom during the 2017 NFL season. The program honors K-12 teachers for educational excellence and offers each of the 16 schools with a teacher-Hero the opportunity to submit an MVP Award proposal. Nominated programs are evaluated on a range of criteria, including innovation, feasibility and demonstrated need.

Tracy Wort and Mike Flood, vice president of Community Outreach for the Seahawks, presented the MVP Award to Marvista Elementary School Principal Melissa Pointer and special education teacher Jennevieve Acosta, a 2017 Symetra Heroes in the Classroom honoree.

About the “Calm Classrooms” Program
According to national statistics, more than 6 million children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and over 60 percent of children have been trauma affected. These students often struggle to regulate their bodies, disrupting their learning and the learning of others. “Calm Classrooms” allows teachers to employ wiggle stools, ball chairs and standing desks as both proactive and responsive in-class tools with students who struggle to stay calm and focused. Coupled with educator training in Social Emotional Learning and Restorative Practices, these supportive approaches will emphasize building students’ skills in self-regulation, conflict resolution and relationship repair. The new program will build on the Calm-Down Corners (safe in-class spaces where students can deescalate when upset) initiative that Marvista established earlier this year, which is already yielding positive results.

About Symetra Heroes in the Classroom®
Since 2006, Symetra Heroes in the Classroom has celebrated 248 K–12 teachers across the Puget Sound and contributed nearly $600,000 for school books, supplies and equipment and in support of innovative classroom programming. Symetra Heroes in the Classroom are recognized in front of their students and peers at surprise in-school presentations. They receive tickets to a Seahawks home game, where they are acknowledged during on-field presentations at CenturyLink Field. In addition, Symetra makes a $2,000 donation to each teacher-Hero’s school for classroom books and supplies.

Teachers may be nominated by their principal, district staff, student or student’s parent. The honorees are selected based on their ability to make a real difference in students’ lives; to go above and beyond in their day-to-day responsibilities; and to help students build life skills.

For more information about the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program or to nominate a teacher, visit

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