Andy Wagner named Citadel Heart of Learning Finalist
Downingtown, PA – Andy Wagner, a social studies and English teacher for the Chester County Intermediate Unit’s (CCIU) Brandywine Virtual Academy (BVA), is one of 15 outstanding educators selected as a finalist in the 2016 Citadel Heart of Learning Awards. Over 2,000 nominations were received this year in what is the equivalent of the Oscars for Chester County’s best and brightest teachers.
“Just being considered as a nominee is deeply humbling,” said Wagner, who has been a teacher for 10 years. “It’s an honor to be recognized by your students and peers and know you made a difference in their lives. We have immensely passionate teachers at the CCIU. This award is a reflection of our belief that we can make a positive difference in a student’s life.”
Wagner teaches high school social studies (world history and psychology) and high school English (world literature and English IV). He ensures students understand the subject content and are welcome in the school’s virtual office. Wagner creates a community amongst students and staff, providing classroom support in BVA’s online and blended classes and live-in person sessions.
“Every person is born with specific talents and abilities, and Andy was born to teach,” said Chip Harper, BVA supervisor of online learning. “Andy is a lifelong learner and seeks to grow as a person and as a teacher. He looks for ways to bring our students together, to learn from other teachers and to apply that knowledge. His encouragement and desire for students to succeed is evident.”
“Andy’s focus on collaboration and student engagement inspires the BVA team and motivates his students to push harder and reach beyond their limits,” said Dr. Joseph O’Brien, CCIU executive director. “His teaching expands beyond the boundaries of the online environment and creates a true community feeling within BVA.”
Each finalist receives $500 to use in his or her classroom. From these 15 finalists, three winners (one high school, one middle school and one elementary school teacher) will be awarded with the Citadel Heart of Learning Award and an additional $1,500.
The Citadel Heart of Learning Award is a collaboration between Citadel and the Chester County Intermediate Unit designed to recognize and thank Chester County’s teachers. It raises awareness of the impact their hard work and dedication have on their students, the student’s families and on the entire community. Since its inception, thousands of teachers have been nominated and hundreds have been named finalists.
According to Wagner, winning the award validates working together with a stellar team of teachers. “I am working with amazing professionals who all share the common goal of helping kids,” he explained. “I was impacted by teachers. I only want to reciprocate that experience for my students and their families.”