Bloomingdale teacher honored as 'classroom hero'
A teacher at Westfield Middle School in Bloomingdale, Cyndi Bringer, recently was honored as a Symetra Hero in the Classroom during a surprise presentation at a school assembly.
Chicago Bears Chairman George McCaskey was the presenter, in cooperation with Symetra, Gallagher Benefit Services.
Bringer is a drama teacher at the school in Elementary District 13.
A national provider of employee benefits, annuities and life insurance, Symetra established the teacher recognition program in 2006. Partnering with the Bears, the company has 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 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 makeup and hair. Regardless of their role, Cyndi looks for the best in everyone and always gives everyone a chance."
Zagotta nominated Bringer for the award.
"I could not imagine my job without her, and am beyond grateful to have such an amazing teacher, colleague and friend on my team," she said.
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 and 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 was recognized at the Nov. 12 game with the Green Bay Packers.