Hero

Teacher a Hero in the Classroom

Symetra, Gallagher Benefit Services and the Chicago Bears honored Hawthorn Elementary North teacher Susan Albert as a “Symetra Hero in the Classroom” on Oct. 24, 2014 during a surprise assembly. Albert is a Special Education instructor for grades 3–5 at the Vernon Hills, Illinois, elementary school.

Watch the video here of Mrs. Albert receiving that award.

“Sue Albert is a natural teacher and such an asset to Hawthorn Elementary North, our school district and community of teachers. The goal of Special Education is to teach a child and have them progress so that one day they no longer require it. Time and again, I have seen the data that Sue’s students are making great progress — and not just academically, but socially as well,” said April Foley, a Hawthorn District 73 colleague. “Sue really looks at the whole child and not just to make sure they learn ‘x’ or ‘y,’ but that they are growing as a whole person. What’s more, her students want to learn, do learn and are happy learning. They feel safe and valued, and that is a huge benefit for any learning to take place.” Foley nominated Albert for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.

“Sue’s warm and genuine personality wins over students and parents alike. She is always striving to do something better and willing to be flexible — encouraging students to do more than learn just about what she happens to be teaching at a particular moment,” said Foley. “I have seen various students come back from middle school to seek Sue out for a visit and let her know how they are doing. Knowing that students take time out of their current lives to remember a teacher is a special thing for any teacher, but no surprise where Sue Albert is concerned.”

Albert is one of 16 K–12 teachers in the Chicago area who will be honored for educational excellence in the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program during the 2014 NFL season. Teachers are recognized in front of their students and peers at surprise in-school presentations, and they receive a $1,000 donation for classroom books and supplies. In addition, they receive tickets to a Bears home game and are acknowledged during an on-field presentation at Soldier Field. Albert will be recognized at the Nov.16 game when the Bears take on the Minnesota Vikings.

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.