- Chester County Intermediate Unit
Citadel Announces 2019 Heart of Learning Award Winners
— This spring, more than a dozen Chester County teachers were surprised at their school; each receiving the 2019 Citadel Heart of Learning Award.
Representatives from Citadel went to 15 schools and presented unsuspecting teachers with the Citadel Heart of Learning Award for their school district. These 15 teachers are their District Winners in the overall award program—each has won $500 to use in the classroom.
On Tuesday, May 7 at Citadel’s banquet—surrounded by family, friends, and their district superintendents and administrators—the teachers were honored, and three teachers were named the Grand Prize winners—one from an elementary, middle, and high school. The Grand Prize winners receive an additional $1,500 to use in their classroom.
The grand prize winners include Carynne Burnett of Oxford Area High School, Jeffra Leo of Kennett Middle School, and Dave Lichter of Pocopson Elementary.
“After learning about our winners and visiting with many of you, I believe tonight—more so than any other year—we are celebrating 15 of the area’s most inspirational heroes,” said Michael Schnably, senior vice president, Citadel. “I was struck with how you care about your students as individuals with specific needs and capabilities. It appears that you do everything you can, every single day to help your students reach their potential.”
This year marks the 18th annual Citadel Heart of Learning Award program, established by Citadel and the Chester County Intermediate Unit to honor, recognize, and thank outstanding teachers in Chester County. This year, Citadel received more than 2,300 nominations for more than 1,200 teachers.
The District Winners for the 2019 Citadel Heart of Learning Award include:
Dave Lichter: GRAND PRIZE WINNER
Licther, who has taught for 28 years and is retiring after the 2018-19 academic year, advises other teachers, “Unless you're ready to work your butt off, this profession isn't for you. On top of that, you must always keep the children in your class as your main focus.”
Penn London Elementary
Bradford Heights Elementary
Collegium Charter School
East Vincent Elementary
Honey Brook Elementary Center
Jeffra Leo – GRAND PRIZE WINNER
Kennett Middle School
Jeffra, now teaching for 22 years, pushes her students to do their best. “Teaching is not about money, it is not about recognition,” says Jeffra, “it is about making the future just a little bit better one child at a time.”
Scott Middle School
Fugett Middle School
Carynne Burnett – GRAND PRIZE WINNER
Oxford Area High School
Carynne says, “Thinking about the past 15 years is like viewing a ‘highlight reel’ of wonderful moments, rather than one moment that emerges as more memorable than the rest.”
Brandywine Virtual Academy
Octorara Area High School
Phoenixville Area High School
Conestoga High School
The heartfelt nominations for these 15 teachers were submitted by students, parents, school administrators, community members and colleagues.