Do you know a Classroom Champion?

Premera is searching for teachers or school employees that are always in their students corners. Each Premera Classroom Champion winner will receive $2,000 for their school and a special Sounders Prize Pack.



Premera Blue Cross put out a call for teachers who are always in their students’ corners.

You sent us stories of teachers spending their own money to make sure students have lunch and can participate in school activities. You wrote about teachers’ extreme patience and willingness to work long hours to make a difference in the lives of children.

We could have honored dozens of educators, but we had to narrow it down. And a handful stood out.

Treating kids as individuals

Brent Allred is a beloved special education resource room teacher making a difference in the lives of his students at Lake Forest Park Elementary. Teachers, parents, and students all spoke about Allred’s dedication to the students and willingness to put in the time to give each child individualized attention.

“He really cares about his students,” said Principal Aimee Miner who nominated Allred for the Premera Teacher Tribute. “He builds on their strengths and makes learning fun. He really digs into what kids need.”

Allred also serves as a role model for other educators at the school, inspiring them to get to know each student and his or her needs. His approach works. His students eloquently spoke of Allred’s patience and support.

“Mr. Allred made me want to come to school,” said Max, a fourth-grader. “He gives me hope.”

Showing up for her students

Megan Clark, the family liaison at Birney Elementary School in Tacoma greets students and parents every morning with an energetic, “good morning, Sunshine!” or a high-five. Clark is there to make sure all students have transportation to school and something to eat for lunch, but it doesn’t end there. She also stepped in when a student’s shoe broke at school and helped a family when their Christmas tree was stolen.

She doesn’t just watch things happen, she gets involved. Clark gathers community members to provide opportunities for students to be successful in and out of school, said Dulce Rozon, the school employee who nominated Clark for the Premera Teacher Tribute.

Clark’s energy and dedication make an impact on the lives of her students.

“Thank you, Ms. Clark for always being there for kids that need help and just need someone to talk to,” said Camilla, a fifth-grader. “If stuff is going on at home, [students] can know that Ms. Clark will always be there for them.”

Long-lasting commitment

Nanette Peppin goes out of her way to support her students.

“She was my third-grade teacher five years ago, and is still one of my biggest supporters,” Laraine Sims said. “She is always checking in on how I’m doing. She really cares about me, and I know I’m not the only kid she supports like this.”

Sims was one of two people who nominated Peppin. The other was Mary Wright whose two children thrived in Peppin’s classroom. Peppin helped her son focus his attention and helped identify a vision problem that was affecting her daughter’s performance in the classroom.

Peppin supports her students outside of the classroom, too. She attends soccer games and supports dreams—even gifting a ski jacket to a student who won a ski school scholarship. Peppin did all this while going through treatment for breast cancer.

“We watched as this strong woman battled through a year of treatment, forcing her to find a substitute for part of the school year,” Wright said. “She remained involved in class, grading papers and visiting weekly with students.”

The good news is treatment went well and Peppin returned to school with more passion for her students than ever.


Stay tuned for more stories of extraordinary teachers. Each Premera Teacher Tribute winner will receive $2,000 for their school and tickets to a Seattle Sounders FC match.