On Tuesday, the San Francisco 49ers and Symetra Financial announced a multi-year partnership to bring the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program to the Bay Area. Presented locally by Wells Fargo, the program will recognize teachers throughout the Bay Area for outstanding leadership and instructional skills.
The first Symetra Hero in the Classroom honoree — Harmony Hayes, a 6th grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at the San Francisco 49ers Academy in East Palo Alto — was celebrated today during a special assembly at the school.
Fifteen additional K-12 Bay Area teachers will be named Symetra Heroes during the 2011 NFL season.
Teachers will be recognized in their schools at surprise presentations where they will receive a $1,000 donation for classroom books and supplies.
In addition, they will receive tickets to a 2011 49ers home game and will be honored on the video board at Candlestick Park during the game.
The winners will be selected based on their ability to balance the core curriculum with students' individual needs; build trust among students, parents and the community; and invest in their students' long-term success.
"Symetra and Wells Fargo are partners in business, and we also share a strong commitment to making our communities great places to live and work," said Tom Marra, president and CEO of Symetra Financial. "We're excited to introduce the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program in the Bay Area with the San Francisco 49ers — a team with deep ties to the community and a longtime supporter of educational initiatives."
"We are honored to join forces with Symetra and Wells Fargo in recognizing members of our surrounding community who truly make a difference each and every day," said 49ers Owner and Co-Chairman John York. "Teachers serve as the backbone of our society, and the impact they have in our lives cannot be underestimated. We are excited to have an opportunity to show our appreciation to the many great teachers throughout the Bay Area in the months to come. It is very fitting to honor Harmony Hayes as the first recipient of the award, a teacher who I have witnessed first-hand demonstrate an undeniable passion for the power of education."
The 49ers represent the fourth NFL team to participate in the Symetra program. Click here for more information on the program and to nominate a teacher for a Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.