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Mill Creek Teacher Honored as “Symetra Hero in the Classroom”

Mill Creek teacher Kailey Shepard, Assistant Principal Jeremy Ruesing, and Seahawk running back C.J. Prosie Symetra and the Seattle Seahawks celebrated the 16 Puget Sound-area teachers recognized as Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® during the 2017 NFL season at an April 27 luncheon at CenturyLink Field. Among the honorees was Kent School District teacher Kailey Shepard, a social studies instructor at Mill Creek Middle School.
The event was held in the Coach’s Loft and also included a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium, including a stop in the Seahawks locker room, where each teacher discovered a personalized locker. Inside were a copy of the April 27 Seattle Times ad honoring them, a commemorative 2017 Symetra Heroes in the Classroom brochure and Seahawks items. Seattle Seahawks running back C.J. Prosise (#22) made a surprise appearance—sharing stories about the impact teachers have had on his life, signing autographs, and posing for photos.
The Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program recognizes teachers in front of their students and peers at in-school presentations, and they receive a $2,000 donation for classroom books and supplies.
Kailey Shepard received her award during a surprise presentation at Mill Creek Middle School in September 2017. Ms. Shepard was nominated by Kent School District colleague Nanette Navarro: “Look up ‘excellent teaching’ in the dictionary and you will find Kailey Shepard’s picture. A second-generation social studies teacher here in Kent, she is an integral part of Mill Creek Middle School. Kailey wholly dedicates herself to her profession and her students. Immediately after earning her master’s degree in her second year of teaching, she pursued an English Language Learners endorsement in order to better serve a diverse student population represented by 125 languages. She teaches these kids about the world and has a way with young people that makes them feel loved, respected, and excited to learn!”
Heroes honorees also receive tickets to a Seahawks home game and are acknowledged during an on-field presentation at CenturyLink Field. Ms. Shepard attended the Seahawks’ September 17, 2017, match-up with the San Francisco 49ers.
To learn more about Symetra Heroes in the Classroom or how to nominate a teacher, visit