Citadel Credit Union awards local teachers over $58,000 with Citadel Heart of Learning Awards

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, 2022 during a large-scale ceremony with 400 guests including Superintendents; 3 Grand Prize Winners to be announced

EXTON, PA (April 28, 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. 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 this year, 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 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. During the ceremony, 3 Grand Prize winners will be announced, and each receives an additional $5,000 to use in their classroom and another $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:

Level Name of Winner School
Elementary School Elena Carlson Gladwyne Elementary
Elementary School Shawntae Brabham Disston Elementary
Elementary School Michelle Jacobs Warwick Elementary
Elementary School Matt Rogers Salisbury Elementary
Elementary School Miriam Coppola Wayne Elementary
Elementary School Amy Hess French Creek Elementary
Elementary School Jason Baughman Jordan Bank Elementary
Elementary School Jennifer Burns Robeson Elementary Center
Elementary School Dawn Oldenski Chadds Ford Elementary
Elementary School Deb Rooney Bradford Heights Elementary
Elementary School Jennifer Franz Sarah Starkweather Elementary
Level Name of Winner School
Middle School Riley Paolino Rudolph Blankenburg
Middle School Kristi Gases Maple Point Middle School
Middle School Ryan Hipp Donegal Junior High
Middle School Linda Homer Darby Township
Middle School Lisa Adamski Scott Sixth Grade Center
Middle School George Hankins Colonial Middle School
Middle School Lisa Gray Phoenixville Middle School
Level Name of Winner School
High School Marissa Regad Central Bucks HS West
High School Veronica Vladimirova-Cambria Harriton High School
High School Louis Lozzi                        Paul Robeson High School
High School Elyse Minder JPMcCaskey High School
High School Chrissa Kuntz Penncrest High School
High School Mike Deegan Mastery Charter Harrity Upper School
High School Kyle Sollenberger TCHS Brandywine
High School Michael Kowalski Avon Grove High School
High School Kyle Hess Great Valley High School
High School Wendy Kotz Kennett High School
High School Kelly Holub Octorara Junior/Senior High School
High School Orlando Carvajal Conestoga High School
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


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 217,000 members. At over $4 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 2020 Best-in-State Credit Union and ranked first in the 2020 Callahan & Associates Return of the Member scoring index among all credit unions in Pennsylvania. In addition, Citadel has been named one of the best performing credit unions in the nation by SNL Financial. For more information, visit


Media Contact
Abigail Brooks
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