Community Post

Leschi Elementary School Teacher Honored at CenturyLink Field Celebration

Symetra-Hero-in-the-Classroom-Paul-Chappell-Leschi-Elementary-with-Seattle-Seahawk-Russell-OkungOn Friday afternoon, May 24, 2013, Bellevue-based Symetra Financial and the Seattle Seahawks honored the 24 Puget Sound-area teachers who were recognized as Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® during the 2012 NFL season, at a special celebration at CenturyLink Field.

Among the 2012 honorees was Leschi Elementary School Physical Education teacher Paul Chappell, who has taught at the school for 30 years.

Jim Pirak, Symetra SVP, Marketing, and Mike Flood, Seattle Seahawks VP, Community Relations, hosted a luncheon in the Coach’s Loft, welcoming the teachers, their school principals and special guests, including Shauna Heath, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Seattle Public Schools.

Following lunch, the teachers received an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium, which included taking in a view of the field from the press box. The festivities wrapped up in the Seahawks locker room, where each teacher was surprised with a “customized” locker complete with nameplate. Each teacher’s locker’s contents included a plaque commemorating his or her “Heroes” award and a copy of the May 24 edition of the Seattle Times, which featured a ¼-page ad saluting all 24 Symetra Heroes in the Classroom recipients.

Seahawks Left Tackle Russell Okung was a special guest, joining the teachers and guests in the players’ locker room. Okung shared a very personal story about his fourth grade teachers Mrs. Howell and Mrs. Cook. ““Those two teachers, they believed in me,” he said. “They took me aside and they took that extra step to get me right. They had a level of belief in me that I didn’t have in myself. The patience they showed in me paid off.” [Read more about the 2012 Symetra Heroes in the Classroom teachers visit with Okung on the Seattle Seahawks website, here: ]

About Symetra Heroes in the Classroom®

Since 2006, nearly 150 Puget Sound-area teachers have been honored for educational excellence as Symetra Heroes in the Classroom. Teachers are recognized in front of their students and peers at surprise in-school presentations. They receive a $350 Office Max gift card for classroom supplies and tickets to a Seahawks home game, where they are acknowledged during on-field presentations at CenturyLink Field. In addition, Symetra makes a $1,000 donation to each teacher Hero’s school.

Teachers may be nominated by their principal, district staff, student or student’s parent. The winners 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

One thought on “Leschi Elementary School Teacher Honored at CenturyLink Field Celebration

  1. Yay! We love Mr. Chappell and are so grateful for everything he does at Leschi Elementary school. We will miss him when he retires this year.