Scribner honored at Seahawks game as classroom hero


Hewan Mengistu

Media teacher Teresa Scribner, right, and Jessica Torvik, a teacher from Nathan Hale, film their introductions to be played during the Seahwaks’ game against the Atlanta Falcons on Nov.20. Both Scribner and Torvik were selected as “Heroes in the Classroom” by Symetra.

Maria Nguyen, Staff Reporter

Symetra’s “Heroes in the Classroom” award is bestowed upon teachers who go above and beyond in their responsibilities, make a difference in students’ lives and helps students build life skills. Multimedia teacher Teresa Scribner fit the criteria, which prompted one of her former students, Hewan Mengistu, to nominate Scribner for the award.

Courtesy of Jessica Torvik
Hewan Mengistu, left, and Teresa Scribner pose with Seahawks mascot, Blitz, on the sideline before the game.

Representatives from Symetra and the Seahawks organization surprised Scribner with the award at an early-morning staff meeting on Nov. 1. The prestigious honor came with VIP field access at the Seahawks’ Monday Night Football game against the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 20. Scribner invited Mengistu to join her. She also received a personalized Seahawks jersey, an autographed football and $2,000 to use for classroom materials.

This isn’t Scribner’s first honor. In 2016, Scribner was named Washington state’s Journalism Adviser of the Year and was a Dow Jones News Fund Special Recognition Adviser. That same year, she was selected as one of 13 teachers from around the country to receive the Rising Star Award by the Journalism Education Association.

Scribner, who is also the adviser of Cleveland Publications, is a workhorse, often staying at school until 10 p.m. Mengistu emphasized that Scribner does more than she has to for Cleveland.

“She’s in charge of CPub, … she’s in PTSA and does so much more for Cleveland,” Mengistu said. “She stays late after school almost every day just to make sure everything is perfect for her students.”

Scribner began as a volunteer for Cleveland when the school sought to restart the newspaper, which had been obsolete for 12 years. At the time, Scribner was working as a visual journalist for The Seattle Times. She worked as a volunteer for three years before getting a teaching certificate in 2012 and then worked both jobs until the pressure of two jobs became too much. She left The Times in 2016.

“Cleveland wasn’t the first school I worked with, it was just the one that stuck,” Scribner said.

She focuses on encouraging students to try to meet her unwavering high standards and expectations, making students earn her praise instead of giving it without merit.

“I tell them on the first day of school ‘It’s God, my standards and then everything else,’” Scribner said.

Scribner goes above and beyond, taking time out of her busy schedule to help all her students succeed.

“She’ll help you catch up,” said Alberto Quintanilla, a student in Scribner’s Graphic Arts class. “She’ll take time from the time she has to do stuff to help you. She changed my life by being different than other teachers.”

Most of her students start the year not knowing many how to do many things like freshmen Rosemary Nguyen.

“She’s good at making people understand things,” Nguyen said. “She’s good at explaining stuff that is really hard to explain.”

Scribner’s dedication to her work and leadership motivates her students to make better life choices. According to Quintanilla, Scribner is making an impact on his time at Cleveland.

“She inspires me to always go for my goals.”

Cleveland Publications’ Editor-in-Chief Tina Dang and alumni Melise Santos won the top prize in the Design of the Year – Newspaper Spread category at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Dallas on Nov. 17. Dang, along with alumni Xuanda Wu, also took 5th place for Page One Design. This is the journalism group’s first national award.