Symetra, Gallagher Benefit Services and the Chicago Bears honored Westfield Middle School teacher Cyndi Bringer as a "Symetra Hero in the Classroom" on Nov. 8 at a surprise presentation during a school assembly. Chicago Bears Chairman George McCaskey was a special guest and presenter. Bringer is a drama teacher at the grade 6--8 school, located in Bloomingdale and part of Bloomingdale School District 13.

A national provider of employee benefits, annuities and life insurance, Symetra established the teacher-recognition program in its Pacific Northwest hometown in 2006. Partnering with the Chicago Bears, the company has proudly honored more than 100 Chicago-area teachers since 2010.

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.

"Cindi Bringer is truly one of the most selfless, outgoing and charismatic educators I've ever met. She cares so much about her students, and it shows in every classroom project and activity," said Sheila Zagotta, a school colleague. "Cyndi has an exceptional ability to engage every one of her drama students, from the most outgoing to the most introverted. She builds confidence and can take a student from presenting in front of their class to performing for the entire school community. Best of all, everyone gets a chance to participate in her plays or musicals--she has shy students who take on the role of student director, or others who work behind the scenes in set design, sound, lighting, or make-up and hair. Regardless of their role, Cyndi looks for the best in everyone and always gives everyone a chance."

Zagotta nominated Bringer for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.

"Cyndi Bringer is an inspiration and the embodiment of what teaching should be. She wants every child to walk out of her classroom feeling good about themselves. She is always looking for a solution to any classroom differences, and she never gives up," said Zagotta. "I could not imagine my job without her and am beyond grateful to have such an amazing teacher, colleague and friend on my team!"

Bringer 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 2017 NFL season. Teachers are recognized in front of their students and peers at surprise in-school presentations, and they receive a $2,000 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. Bringer will be recognized at the Nov. 12 game when the Bears take on the Green Bay Packers.

More information about Symetra Heroes in the Classroom is available at

About Symetra

Symetra Financial Corporation is a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Washington. In business since 1957, Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions, and independent agents and advisors. For more information, visit