West Chicago teacher honored as 'Symetra Hero in the Classroom'

Symetra, Gallagher Benefit Services, and the Chicago Bears honored West Chicago Community High School teacher Nicholas Kempski as a "Symetra Hero in the Classroom" on Nov. 1 during a surprise school presentation. Kempski is an 11th- and 12th-grade AVID instructor at the West Chicago school.

"Nick Kempski single-handedly started our AVID program nine years ago. One of the greatest programs in schools today, AVID prepares students for 'real world' scenarios not only for college, military acceptance, or technical schools, but also for post-high school life itself," said Richard Kost, a teaching colleague. "Nick has successfully grown our AVID program to where we now have two full-time teachers at every teaching level, and he has raised millions of scholarship dollars for kids over the past several years." Kost nominated Kempski for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.

Kempski is one of 16 kindergarten to 12th-grade teachers in the Chicago area who will be honored for educational excellence in the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program during the 2018 NFL season. Teachers are recognized in front of their students and peers at surprise in-school presentations, and they receive a $2,000 donation from Symetra for classroom books and supplies. In addition, they receive tickets to a Bears home game, enjoy a pre-game sideline experience and are acknowledged during on-field screened presentations at Soldier Field. Kempski will be recognized at the Nov. 11 game, when the Bears take on the Detroit Lions.

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.

About Symetra Heroes in the Classroom

Since 2006, Symetra Heroes in the Classroom has honored over 570 K-12 teachers nationwide for educational excellence during the NFL regular season, and Symetra has contributed nearly $950,000 for school books, equipment and programming. The teacher-recognition program has celebrated more than 130 Chicago-area educators since 2010.

Each of the 16 Chicago-area schools with a 2018 teacher-Hero will be eligible to participate in the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom MVP Award, a $20,000 education grant in support of innovative student programming. Proposals will go out to eligible schools in early 2019 and the winning submission will be announced at a springtime event at the PNC Center at Halas Hall for the 2018 Heroes, their principals and school district leadership.

For more information about the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program or to nominate a teacher, visit

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

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