Citadel Credit Union Gives Philadelphia Area Teachers $58,000 in Grants With 2023 Citadel Heart of Learning Award

Citadel Heart of Learning Award

Thirty-one Greater Philadelphia teachers have won the prestigious Citadel Heart of Learning Award after being nominated and selected among thousands of teachers.

EXTON, Pa., June 16, 2023 — Citadel Credit Union has recognized 31 Greater Philadelphia teachers for going above and beyond and truly “building strength in education.” The company has awarded the winners over $58,000 in grants and the prestigious Citadel Heart of Learning Award.

Twenty-eight (28) winners received a hand-blown glass heart award and a $1,000 cash prize. In addition, three (3) Grand Prize winners each received $10,000 ($5,000 for them personally and $5,000 for school funding), along with the Grand Prize hand-blown glass heart. All winners were honored at celebrations at their schools and featured on FOX29 Philadelphia, and each of the Grand Prize winners were surprised live on air with a visit from Citadel and FOX29’s Bob Kelly.

Teachers from across Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties were nominated by their students, peers, parents, and administrators. The teachers were judged based on the number of nominations they received, their dedication, creative problem solving, leadership of student activities outside of the classroom, and overall impact in their school communities. Thousands of teachers were nominated, and Citadel is now announcing the top 31 teachers selected.

“The stories Citadel receives about teachers across Greater Philadelphia, and this year’s winners in particular, epitomize just how admirable the profession of teaching is,” said Mike Schnably, Senior Vice President, Citadel. “It’s clear that these winners, the greatest educators in our area, wear many hats other than just ‘teacher’ – and the difference they make in students’ lives result in lifelong, impactful influence that sets the pathway to success.”

The 2023 Grand Prize Winners include:

William Langhorne - Avon Grove High School

William Langhorne has been a high school mathematics teacher in the Avon Grove school district for over 15 years. He is also the high school cross country coach. Within the classroom, he is an excellent teacher always ready to give up his free periods to help students gain a better understanding of what is being taught. As a cross country coach, he’s always ready, whether it’s a 5am workout, 7pm race, or organizing a team dinner. We received over 30 nominations from students and teachers that spoke of the attentiveness and dedication he gives to his students and athletes. He is an exceptional educator, mentor, and coach who fosters an environment of respect and kindness.

Tanya Prickett - Colonial Middle School

Tanya Prickett is a mathematics teacher at Colonial Middle School. She creates lessons that are ever changing and unique. She tries to get her students out of their seats, working in teams, trying new approaches, and finding joy in solving math. She gives up her time endlessly at the end of the day to help kids and never says no when a child needs support. Over the years, she has taken on roles as a team leader and master teacher. Her expertise and approach to learning has helped other teachers grow. She is always the first to help a colleague no matter the concern. We received over 20 nominations for Tanya from parents, fellow teachers, and students.

Annie Marie Hunton - Herbert Hoover Elementary School

Ann Marie Hunton is a special education teacher who has been teaching for over three decades. She is kind, caring, and treats all the students like they are her own children. She helps parents navigate behavioral issues and supports the children along the way. Her students know she cares for them and has an interest in their lives. She’s a model educator who truly has an impact on her students.

All other Citadel Heart of Learning Award 2022-23 Winners by Grade Level:

High School Winners:

  • Gary Schmaltz - Chester Co Technical College HS
  • Wendy DiRico - Conestoga High School
  • Michael Podlesney - Downingtown STEM Academy
  • Fonda Akins - Springfield High School
  • Jessica Anderson - Penncrest High school
  • Brooke Cox - Solanco High School
  • Diane Weintraub - Kohelet Yeshiva High School
  • Gianna Lozzi - George Washington High School
  • Harold Dietrich - Twin Valley High School

Middle School Winners:

  • Christy Marshall Silva - Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Center
  • Meagan Stolnis - Peirce Middle School
  • Michelle Kreger - North Brandywine Middle School
  • Colleen DiMaggio - Southeast Delco School District
  • Dr. Jason Finn - Haverford Middle School
  • Victoria Crawford - Donegal intermediate school
  • Colleen Cerruti - Murray Ave Middle School
  • Mary Riisen - St. Norbert Middle School
  • Samantha Samuels - West Oak Lane Charter School

Elementary School winners:

  • Jenn Krasna - Charlestown Elementary
  • Krista Troutman - French Creek
  • Kristopher Stevenson - Springton Manor Elementary
  • Linda Farren - Uwchlan Hills Elementary
  • Dani DiNolfi - St. Joseph Downingtown
  • Michele Showalter - Pocopson Elementary
  • Brooke Doyle - Ithan Elementary School
  • Kelly Reiner - Linwood Elementary
  • Megan Hood - Octorara Elementary

Traci Watson Heart Award:

  • Beverly Rusoff - Bala Cynwyd Middle School

The Citadel Heart of Learning Award program started 22 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. To nominate a local teacher that should be considered to win this award, 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 $5.9 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 Forbes 2022 Best-in-State Credit Union, a 2023 Faces of Philanthropy Award recipient from the Philadelphia Business Journal, and a certified 2023 Great Place to Work. For more information, visit

Know a deserving teacher? Nominate them today!