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Citadel Credit Union Awards Local Teachers Over $58,000 With Citadel Heart of Learning Awards

citadel heart of learning winners

31 Greater Philadelphia teachers have won the prestigious Citadel Heart of Learning Award after being nominated and selected among thousands of teachers; All will be honored at The Mann Center in Philadelphia on May 2, during a large-scale ceremony with 400 guests including Superintendents and Principals; 3 Grand Prize Winners to be announced.

EXTON, Pa., April 27, 2022— In another academic year challenged by the pandemic, 31 Greater Philadelphia teachers have been recognized by Citadel Credit Union for going above and beyond and truly “building strength in education.” Teachers from across Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties were nominated by their students, peers, parents, and administrators, and will be recognized and receive their awards on May 2 at The Mann Center in Philadelphia. Thousands of teachers were nominated, and Citadel is now announcing the top 31 teachers selected. Citadel will donate over $58,000 to the teachers in grants, gift cards, and prizes.

The Citadel Heart of Learning Award program started 21 years ago in partnership with the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) to recognize local teachers who show dedication in and outside of the classroom with a unique sense of heart and dedication. The award also specifically spotlights teachers who go above and beyond to foster connection with students and ensure the desire to learn is never compromised. This is the first year there will be an in-person event now that the program has fully expanded to the full Greater Philadelphia region.

All 31 winners receive a hand-blown glass heart award, $1,000 to spend in their classrooms, gift cards, prizes, and will be honored at Citadel’s Award Ceremony at the Mann Center on May 2. In addition, three (3) Grand Prize winners each receives an additional $4,000 to use in their classroom and $5,000 for their school, along with a colorful Grand Prize glass heart. Each Grand Prize Winner will give an acceptance speech.

“Citadel is proud to recognize 31 educators who each has a unique background and their own story. Across Greater Philadelphia, our counties, towns, and districts have varied challenges and students with diverse needs. What all areas have in common is there are dedicated teachers building strength in education,” said Mike Schnably, Senior Vice President, Citadel Credit Union. “Celebrating teachers, the unsung heroes who mold our children, continues to be one of Citadel’s proudest moments as an organization each year.”

Citadel Heart of Learning Award 2021-22 Winners by Grade Level:

Elementary School winners:

  • Elena Carlson - Gladwyne Elementary
  • Shawntae Brabham - Disston Elementary
  • Michelle Jacobs - Warwick Elementary
  • Matt Rogers - Salisbury Elementary
  • Miriam Coppola - Wayne Elementary
  • Amy Hess - French Creek Elementary
  • Jason Baughman - Jordan Bank Elementary
  • Jennifer Burns - Robeson Elementary Center
  • Dawn Oldenski - Chadds Ford Elementary
  • Deb Rooney - Bradford Heights Elementary
  • Jennifer Franz - Sarah Starkweather Elementary

Middle School Winners:

  • Riley Paolino - Rudolph Blankenburg
  • Kristi Gases - Maple Point Middle School
  • Ryan Hipp - Donegal Junior High
  • Linda Homer - Darby Township
  • Lisa Adamski - Scott Sixth Grade Center
  • George Hankins - Colonial Middle School
  • Lisa Gray - Phoenixville Middle School

High School Winners:

  • Marissa Regad - Central Bucks HS West
  • Veronica Vladimirova-Cambria - Harriton High School
  • Louis Lozzi - Paul Robeson High School
  • Elyse Minder - JPMcCaskey High School
  • Chrissa Kuntz - Penncrest High School
  • Mike Deegan - Mastery Charter Harrity Upper School
  • Kyle Sollenberger - TCHS Brandywine
  • Michael Kowalski - Avon Grove High School
  • Kyle Hess - Great Valley High School
  • Wendy Kotz - Kennett High School
  • Kelly Holub - Octorara Junior/Senior High School
  • Orlando Carvajal - Conestoga High School
  • Dante Coles - Malvern Preparatory High School

The Citadel Heart of Learning Awards Ceremony will take place on Monday, May 2 from 7:30-9:00 at the Mann Center. There will be three student performances from the following groups; MadBeatz Drumline of West Philadelphia, CAPA Octet of Philadelphia, and the Downingtown East Accapella. Stay tuned for the reveal of the Grand Prize winners, which will be announced following the event.

To learn more, visit

Abigail Brooks
(610) 466-6896


About Citadel Credit Union

Citadel Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial institution that provides banking, investments, and insurance services to more than 260,000 members. At $5.8 billion in assets, it is one of the Greater Philadelphia area’s largest credit unions, proudly serving residents of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. Citadel is recognized as a 2023 Fortune Recommends Best Credit Union, Forbes 2022 Best-in-State Credit Union, and a certified 2022 Great Place to Work. For more information, visit

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