The Atlanta Falcons Honor Centennial Teacher Thomas Bussey as a ‘Symetra Hero in the Classroom’

Symetra Hero in the Classroom Thomas Bussey with Freddy Falcon and Falcons Cheerleaders

On September 13th, Centennial Place Elementary School’s third-grade teacher Thomas Bussey was honored during a surprise assembly by Symetra, SunTrust and the Atlanta Falcons.

“There are many instances I can cite of Thomas Bussey’s dedication to the education of Centennial Place Elementary School students,” said Chastity Williams, a teaching colleague. “Mr. Bussey writes and implements interesting and challenging Reading and Language Arts plans for our entire team. His research-based practices inspire all readers to dive into award-winning children’s literature for enjoyment, analyze many types of text, construct their own understanding and become fluent writers who love their craft. He deconstructs and uses assessment data to provide each child with individualized learning strategies. I have sat with him on many occasions and listened as he excitedly shared new, refreshing methods for teaching topics that could so easily be seen as dull or rote. These are the actions of a person who is both an educator and lifelong learner; a person who is a dynamic force in the classroom. He takes every gift, talent and ability he possesses and pours them all into presenting the most educational environment possible for his students.” Williams nominated Bussey for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom® award.

Symetra Hero in the Classroom Thomas Bussey (Centennial Place School)“Mr. Bussey is a thoughtful and fiery educator who focuses on both intellectual and social growth. He also demonstrates that he genuinely cares about his students and colleagues as people. Students seek his counsel when they have problems; colleagues know he always has kind words and friendly advice. He attends football games and cheerleading competitions. He helps hang anything in the building, makes extra copies of an awesome assignment to share, and gives a smile and a high five as he walks down the hallway. His passion shines through everything he does.”

Bussey is one of 16, K–12 teachers in Georgia, who will be honored for educational excellence in the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program during the 2013 NFL season. Teachers are recognized in front of their students and peers at surprise in-school presentations, and they receive a $1,000 donation for classroom books and supplies. In addition, they receive tickets to a Falcons home game and are acknowledged during an on-field presentation at the Georgia Dome. Bussey will be recognized at the Sept. 29 game when the Falcons take on the New England Patriots.

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.

More information about Symetra Heroes in the Classroom is available at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: