The Chicago Bears sponsor the “Heroes in the Classroom” program, and on Wednesday, Dec. 17, a delegation from the team visited Leo to salute Mrs. Latifi, Leo’s senior math teacher and moderator of the National Honor Society.

Josiah Jones, a 2011 Leo graduate, wrote an eloquent letter nominating his former teacher, and Mrs. Latifi was selected, much to the delight of an all-school assembly that gathered to celebrate the occasion. Bears defensive end David Bass presented Mrs. Latifi with a gift basket that included $1,000 for classroom enhancements, a Bears jersey bearing her name and two tickets to the Dec. 21 game against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field.

Bass also addressed the Leo student body, reminding our young men that an inner-city upbringing shouldn’t be a deterrent to their ambitions.

“This is a wonderful honor for Ms. Latifi, and well deserved,” Leo Principal Phil Mesina said. “She has influenced hundreds of young men during her time at Leo, and no one cares more about the students.”

A native of Albania, Mrs. Latifi is in her 17th year at Leo. “I love this school and I love our kids,” she said, “and having something like this happen reminds me why I do.”