Awarding Teachers With Heart

Citadel recognizes teachers for the great work that they do. That is why we teamed up with the Chester County Intermediate Unit 17 years ago to create the Citadel Heart of Learning Award.


Citadel Heart of Learning Award

Each year, Citadel receives thousands of nominations to honor local teachers with the nationally recognized Citadel Heart of Learning Award.  

Congratulations to the 2018 Citadel Heart of Learning Award District Winners and Grand Prize Winners!


Grand Prize Winners

Kelly DeMillion, Kindergarten teacher of General Wayne Elementary; William Scott Golightly, English teacher of Phoenixville Middle School; and Adam Speakman, Choir Director of Downingtown East High School are the official Grand Prize Winners.


2018 District Winners




Adam Speakman
Downingtown Area School District
Downingtown High School East

Cynthia Hyatt
Tredyffrin/Easttown School District
Conestoga High School

Jason Ralston
Octorara School District
Octorara High School

Peg Tinder
Owen J. Roberts School District
Owen J. Roberts High School

Scott Wooddell
Oxford Area School District
Oxford Area High School


Andrew Stine
Twin Valley School District
Twin Valley Middle School

Jackie Knight
Kennett Consolidated School District
Kennett Middle School

Kera Romero
21st Century Charter School

Mike Walls
Chester County Intermediate Unit
Coatesville Learning Center

William Golightly
Phoenixville Area School District
Phoenixville Area Middle School


Barb Wilson
Coatesville School District
Caln Elementary

Curtis Barr
Unionville-Chadds Ford School District
Chadds Ford Elementary

Kelly DeMillion
Great Valley School District
General Wayne Elementary

Lauren McManus
Avon Grove School District
Avon Grove Intermediate

Mary Daniels
West Chester School District
Hillsdale Elementary

About the Program

Citadel receives thousands of nominations every year for more than 1,200 teachers in Chester County. 

Our team carefully reviews each nomination and selects 15 finalists:

  • One teacher from each of the 13 area public school districts
  • One teacher from the Chester County Intermediate Unit
  • One teacher from a non-public school in Chester County (including charter and home-schools)

Each of the 15 finalists receives $500 to use in his or her classroom. From this group, three winners are selected:

  • One high school teacher
  • One middle school teacher
  • One elementary school teacher 

Each winner receives the Citadel Heart of Learning Award along with an additional $1,500 for use in the classroom.

To help promote the 2017-18 Citadel Heart of Learning award, check out our Marketing Toolkit.

Teachers with Heart

The Citadel Heart of Learning Award is a teaching excellence award that recognizes Chester County teachers who show dedication both in and out of the classroom. 

Chester County students, parents, and community members are encouraged to nominate a deserving teacher who goes above and beyond the call of duty. Citadel awards 15 finalists and three overall winners with the Citadel Heart of Learning Award. 

Recognition Through the Years

In 2001, Citadel partnered with the Chester County Intermediate Unit to establish a program that recognizes and honors Chester County teachers. Since its inception, the Citadel Heart of Learning Award program has recognized thousands of teachers for their tireless dedication to students and the community.


Schools of Heart

After the nomination period ends, the Citadel Heart of Learning Award committee will tally the total number of nominations by school. The top three schools will earn cash for events or assemblies:

1st Place - $1500
2nd Place - $750
3rd Place - $500

For more information, contact us at


Citadel Heart of Learning Award Eligibility

View Citadel Heart of Learning Award Eligibility
  • All nominees must be PA certified active teachers in a Chester County public school or a Chester County non-public school. Exceptions may include teachers in non-public schools who are not required to be certified, home school teachers, tutors, etc. Retired teachers are eligible as long as retirement date was at max, one year prior to award year.
  • School districts located within Chester County that are included in the Citadel Heart of Learning Award are as follows: Avon, Grove, Coatesville Area, Downingtown Area, Great Valley, Kennett Consolidated, Octorara Area, Owen J. Roberts, Oxford Area, Phoenixville Area, Tredyffrin/Easttown, Twin Valley, Unionville-Chadds Ford and West Chester Area.
  • For the purpose of the Citadel Heart of Learning Award, a public school shall be defined as a school under the jurisdiction of one of the public school districts listed above and which is publicly funded; employs staff that are required to be certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education; and meet the policies, rules, and regulations of the Pennsylvania School Code.
  • For the purpose of the Citadel Heart of Learning Award, Charter schools and home schools are categorized as Chester County non-public schools.
  • For the purpose of the Citadel Heart of Learning Award, cyber school teachers will be eligible for nomination if the student or parent submitting the nomination resides in Chester County.
  • All nominees must provide direct instruction to students in a classroom setting. This includes classroom teachers, subject teachers, certified teaching professionals who provide direct instruction to students, k-12, in a classroom setting, such as a reading specialist, speech therapist, learning support teacher, librarian, etc.