The San Francisco 49ers Tuesday morning named an East Palo Alto woman as the first of 16 Bay Area teachers who will be honored as a "classroom hero" during the upcoming 2011 NFL season.
Representatives from the 49ers and Washington-based Symetra Financial announced that Harmony Hayes, a sixth grade language and social studies teacher at the 49ers Academy, is the first Bay Area honoree of the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program.
The program honors exceptional K-12 teachers who have shown the ability to achieve long-term success in their students' education.
"It is very fitting to honor Harmony Hayes as the first recipient of the award, a teacher who I have witnessed first-hand demonstrate an undeniable passion for the power of education," 49ers owner and co-chairman John York said in a statement.
The winning teachers, who can be nominated through the program's website, will receive $1,000 for classroom supplies and tickets to a 2011 49ers game, and will be honored on the video screen at Candlestick Park during the game. The 49ers are sponsoring the program along with Symetra Financial and Wells Fargo Bank.