Citadel Credit Union Builds Strength in Education, Honors 21 Local Teachers with Heart of Learning Award

citadel heart of learning award

In an academic year that challenged teachers unlike any other, 21 teachers in Greater Philadelphia have been recognized by Citadel Credit Union for going above and beyond.

Teachers from across Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties have been recognized after being nominated for the prestigious Citadel Heart of Learning Award by their students, peers, parents, and administrators.

More than 1,100 teachers were nominated this year.

The Citadel Heart of Learning Award, one of Citadel’s longest-standing initiatives, was started 20 years ago in partnership with the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) to recognize teachers who show dedication in and outside of the classroom.

“Citadel is proud to build strength in education through the Citadel Heart of Learning Award program,” said Mike Schnably, Senior Vice President, Citadel Credit Union. “For the past 20 years, we’ve been honored to recognize teachers’ tireless efforts, but this year was certainly unique. Seeing how our local educators have adapted throughout the pandemic just reaffirms how vital they are to the community.”

All 21 teachers receive a glass heart award, $500 to spend in their classrooms, and will be honored at Citadel’s Facebook Live ceremony on May 20. During the ceremony, three grand-prize winners will be announced, and each will receive an additional $1,500 and a colorful grand-prize glass heart.

Chester County School District Winners

  • Avon Grove: Stephanie Shrake, Avon Grove High School
  • Coatesville: Breanna Kriston, East Fallowfield Elementary School
  • Downingtown: Kathleen Cool, Uwchlan Hills Elementary School
  • Great Valley: Amy Hober, K.D. Markley Elementary School
  • Kennett Consolidated: Dian McKinney, Kennett Middle School
  • Octorara: Robin Lewis, Octorara Intermediate School
  • Owen J. Roberts: Lisa Cunningham, East Vincent Elementary School
  • Oxford: Nicole Wiltrout, Oxford Area High School
  • Phoenixville: Michelle Sinnamon, Manavon Elementary School
  • Tredyffrin-Easttown: Allegra Dotson, New Eagle Elementary School
  • Twin Valley: Elizabeth Techman, Twin Valley Elementary School
  • Unionville: Lauren Owsley, Charles F. Patton Middle School
  • West Chester: Frank Nefos, Fuggett Middle School
  • Non-Public School: Jane Brennan, St. Joseph Elementary
  • CCIU: Jessica Jakatt, Chester County Learning Center

County Winners

  • Montgomery County: William Norman, Norristown Area High School
  • Delaware County: Andrea Brown, Ridley High School
  • Lancaster County: Jerry Guttman, Manheim Township High School
  • Philadelphia County: Jamie Johnson, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia School Program
  • Bucks County: Elizabeth Baker, Maple Point Middle School

Traci Watson Heart Award

To continue to expand the program and recognize more teachers, Citadel has added the Traci Watson Heart Award. This is a special award created in memory of one of Citadel’s beloved colleagues who played an integral role each year in the Citadel Heart of Learning Award program. It recognizes thoughtful creativity, inspiring good nature, and dedication to one’s craft.

Citadel recognized Eli Andrus, Art Teacher at Beaver Creek Elementary School in the Downingtown Area School District, with the inaugural Traci Waston Heart Award.

The Citadel Heart of Learning Awards Ceremony will take place live on Thursday, May 20 from 6:30-7 PM on Facebook. Learn more and register here.

View the full list of nominees.

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