Citadel presents Heart of Learning Awards to three grand prize winners

EXTON — Citadel Credit Union has chosen three grand prize winners in its annual Heart of Learning Awards program — one from Chester County, one from Montgomery County and one from the Philadelphia School District. The awards acknowledge native lecturers who present dedication in and outdoors of the classroom.


Susan L. Angstadt

Citadel Credit Union offered its 2021-2022 Heart of Learning Awards to a few space lecturers throughout a ceremony Monday night time, May 2. (MEDIANEWS GROUP FILE PHOTO)

The 2021-2022 Heart of Learning Awards had been offered Monday night time at a ceremony held on the Mann Center for Performing Art in Philadelphia. An estimated 400 individuals attended the awards ceremony, the primary in-person gathering for the awards program because the pandemic, and because the program was expanded to the Greater Philadelphia area.

The 2021-2022 Heart of Learning grand prize winners are:


Deb Rooney, a third-grade instructor at Bradford Heights Elementary School within the Downingtown Area School District in Chester County


George Hankins, a instructor at Colonial Middle School within the Colonial School District in Montgomery County


Louis Lozzi, a instructor at Paul Robeson High School, within the Philadelphia School District in Philadelphia.

One grand prize was offered in every award class — elementary, center and highschool.

“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,” Mike Schnably, senior vice chairman, Citadel Credit Union, stated in an announcement. “Celebrating teachers, the unsung heroes who mold our children continues to be one of Citadel’s proudest moments as an organization each year.”

The three had been amongst 31 lecturers named as finalists for this 12 months’s awards — chosen from “thousands” of nominated lecturers from Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, based on a press launch.

They knew they had been finalists, however their choice as grand prize winners was a shock.

Rooney, Hankins and Lozzi will every obtain a prize of $10,000 — $5,000 for them and $5,000 for his or her colleges. The different 28 lecturers who had been finalists had been offered with $1,000 to spend of their lecture rooms, present playing cards and prizes.

Rooney has been instructing for greater than 33 years. In addition to instructing third grade at Bradford Heights Elementary School, Rooney leads a number of after-school academic applications together with broadcast membership and intramurals. In nominating Rooney, dad and mom stated she is artistic together with her curriculum and goes above and past with varied classes to include life expertise.

“Whether it’s encouraging the students to contribute gifts for people in need during the holidays, helping a new student adjust and make friends, or tutoring a student struggling with virtual learning, Miss Rooney is the kind of patient and caring teacher every student deserves,” the press launch said.

Hankins has been instructing U.S. History and Social Studies for greater than 20 years and was impressed by his mom who was a instructor. Hankins obtained greater than 60 nominations for this 12 months’s award. According to the discharge, greater than 30 college students commented on how he brings “nothing but positive energy” to the classroom by having college students reenact historic occasions, carrying a tie related to the lesson theme of the day, or dying his hair inexperienced for college satisfaction.

Lozzi is credited with growing a mannequin faculty and profession readiness program that assists college students in forging a customized pathway to success following commencement, based on the discharge. Lozzi’s work as chief of the Paul Robeson High School math and science division and member of the college management staff has been credited for serving to the college obtain a 95% annual commencement charge, considerably increased than the Philadelphia common of 70%. Lozzi’s work with establishing college partnerships was most not too long ago featured in “Penn Today” News.

Originally began 21 years in the past in partnership with the Chester County Intermediate Unit, this system has been expanded to incorporate the total Greater Philadelphia area. The awards acknowledge lecturers who present dedication in and outdoors of the classroom and highlight lecturers “who go above and beyond to foster connection with students.”

The awards ceremony included speeches from Pennsylvania Department of Education Executive Secretary Debora Carrera, intermediate unit govt administrators, Citadel executives, dad and mom, college students, and lecturers. Three native pupil teams carried out as properly, together with MadBeatz Drumline of West Philadelphia, CAPA Octet of Philadelphia, and the Downingtown East Vocal Ensemble.

Among the 31 finalists had been three lecturers from Bucks, one instructor from Berks, 13 lecturers from Chester, 4 lecturers from Delaware, three lecturers from Lancaster, three lecturers from Montgomery and 4 lecturers from Philadelphia counties.

To see the total checklist of finalists, go to

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