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Honoring our 2023 Heroes in the Classroom

December 21, 2023

Every year, Premera partners with the Seattle Seahawks to celebrate the amazing, often unrecognized work of teachers and other school employees. We ask communities across Washington to nominate someone who goes above and beyond to help their students and their community: a Hero in the Classroom.

This year, we received a record number of nominations that poured in for school employees. From those nominations, we selected three winners to honor with a gift of $2,000 for their school, books and supplies for their classroom, a personalized jersey, a surprise visit from Seahawks mascot Blitz, and a Seahawks home game experience.

We’re so excited to introduce this year’s Heroes in the Classroom honorees! Read on to hear what students, parents, and colleagues had to say about these educators, and see a couple of them being surprised by Blitz in their own classrooms!

Josie Painter, Bow Lake Elementary 

Mrs. Painter is a third-grade teacher at Bow Lake Elementary whose nominators described her as patient, kind-hearted, and “the best role model.”

To keep her students comfortable and motivated, Josie is constantly fundraising to buy new books, snacks, supplies, and prizes. She even hosted an event for teachers to stock up on supplies and snacks for their students. Her colleagues described her as always willing to lend a hand and share her experience with other staff members to create the best school environment possible.

During our surprise visit, we asked students what their favorite thing about Mrs. Painter was, and one student responded that “My favorite thing about Mrs. Painter is that she’s a really kind teacher and I hope she stays in this school forever. And I will never forget her.”

It’s clear Josie makes an impact on her students every day and we’re so happy to celebrate her as a Hero in the Classroom!

Crystal Moore, Silver Lake Elementary

Crystal Moore is a second-grade teacher who loves to make sure every student feels at home in her class. No one is left out, and even the parents feel included in their children’s learning experience.

“The difference she makes in her students’ lives can be seen daily in that she goes out of her way to make connections with her students and families and ignite student’s love of learning,” one nominator told Premera.

Families are always tied into what is happening in Ms. Moore’s classroom, as she regularly calls home to celebrate the successes of students, building an environment of positivity and excitement that helps all students to be successful!

Dammian Tucker, Edna Travis Elementary 

Mr. Tucker currently teaches second grade and has taught at multiple different schools in different states over his 20-year career. No matter where he is teaching, many of his students describe Mr. Tucker as the best teacher their child has ever had.

“The love he has for what he does is truly inspiring, many parents and students throughout the years keep in touch,” said one nominator.

According to Ms. Gibbs, the principal at Travis Elementary, requests come in from parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles for their students to be in Mr. Tucker’s class.  She described him as a “gift to the Hilltop community.”

Please join us in thanking all of the 2023 Heroes in the Classroom honorees for work they do for their students and in their communities!