Chiefs’ Geoff Schwartz Scores at HBHA


Alex Sher


HBHA Class of 2014 and Kansas City Chiefs’ football player Geoff Schwartz relax in the senior lounge 

On Tuesday, Oct. 15,  Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz visited Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy in Overland Park.  He was greeted with HBHA fanfare, as a sea of excited elementary, middle, and high school students, dressed in red and yellow, performed lively cheers for Swartz and the entire HBHA community of families, faculty, and staff in the Campus Social Hall.


An excited group of HBHA kindergarten and first graders performed and chanted from the stage “Go, Chiefs, Go!”


Schwartz took time to speak frankly to the K thru 12 student body about personal character. “Character is what you do when nobody is watching,” Schwartz taught the students. He emphasized learning from failures instead of getting upset by them, and he encouraged kids to be their best selves 100% of the time.


In a question-and-answer session following his talk, Schwartz, who grew up in a Conservative Jewish home in Los Angeles, shared that his Hebrew name is Gedaliah and that Sandy Koufax was his childhood hero. He revealed to the students that he gets anxious before games, and that he believes that the outcome of a game does not matter as long as he gave it his all and was respectful toward his opponents.

Schwartz’s visit to HBHA also included a tour of the campus led by Head of School, Howard Haas, including frequent stops for photographs. He was invited over to multiple Shabbat dinners, and he even signed the wall of the Senior Lounge in the Upper School. During a stop in the 8th grade history class, taught by Dr. Edna Levy, Schwartz revealed his love of history and admitted he is fascinated by the Civil War. Schwartz said he will be married in March and plans to raise his children Jewish. “My fiance and I talked about that and we’re going to make it happen.”


HBHA’s kindergarten class enjoys story-time with Chiefs’ Geoff Schwartz.

Schwartz attended Hebrew school throughout his childhood and plans on raising his children with the same Jewish education. “It sets your values of who you are,” Schwartz said. “And I think it’s just growing up Jewish that made me the person I am today.”


The Lower School students, smiling and in awe of  Schwartz’ imposing 6’ 6” frame, had an opportunity to take a class picture with him.  “I’ve always wanted to see someone that was famous,” said first grader Sadie Gershen.


“We are fortunate to have Geoff Schwartz, a man of great character and a true mensch, in our greater Kansas City Jewish Community,” said Mr. Haas.