Phoenixville teacher wins grand prize in countywide teaching awards

Scott Golightly, center, a 7th grade language arts teacher at Phoenixville Middle School, was selected as the grand prize winner of this year’s Citadel Heart of Learning award.
Scott Golightly, center, a 7th grade language arts teacher at Phoenixville Middle School, was selected as the grand prize winner of this year’s Citadel Heart of Learning award. Photo from Phoenixville Area School District
Citadel Heart of Learning grand prize winners are Kelly DeMillion, Kindergarten teacher of General Wayne Elementary, Adam Speakman, Choir Director of Downingtown East High School and William Scott Golightly, English teacher of Phoenixville Middle School.
Citadel Heart of Learning grand prize winners are Kelly DeMillion, Kindergarten teacher of General Wayne Elementary, Adam Speakman, Choir Director of Downingtown East High School and William Scott Golightly, English teacher of Phoenixville Middle School. Photo from Phoenixville Area School District

PHOENIXVILLE >> A Phoenixville teacher has been honored among thousands in the county for his exemplary classroom skills.

William (Scott) Golightly was named the grand prize winner in the 2018 Citadel Heart of Learning Awards for all Chester County Middle School teachers after being nominated by multiple teachers, parents, and students, who cited his ability to connect with and help every child in his class reach their highest levels.

Golightly teaches seventh grade language arts at the Phoenixville Area Middle School.

The Citadel Heart of Learning Award is a teaching excellence award that recognizes Chester County teachers who show dedication both in and out of the classroom. 

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“We read thousands of nominations for Chester County teachers each year, and it is an extremely rewarding experience,” said Michael Schnably, senior vice president, Citadel, and co-chair for the Citadel Heart of Learning Award. “The teachers in this community are outstanding, and they deserve to be recognized. We are thrilled to read their stories and honor them with the Citadel Heart of Learning Award.”

Citadel receives thousands of nominations every year for more than 1,200 teachers in Chester County. Chester County students, parents, and community members are encouraged to nominate a deserving teacher who goes above and beyond the call of duty. From these nominations, Citadel awards 15 finalists and three overall winners with the Citadel Heart of Learning Award. In March, the Citadel announced that Golightly was the Phoenixville Area School District winner.

Each of the 15 finalists receives $500 to use in his or her classroom. From this group, three winners are selected:

• One high school teacher

• One middle school teacher

• One elementary school teacher 

Each winner receives the Citadel Heart of Learning Award along with an additional $1,500 for use in the classroom.

“We couldn’t be prouder of Mr. Golightly. He is a perfect representation of what it means to be an exceptional teacher,” wrote the school district in a Facebook post when Golightly became a finalist.

Thirty-four other Phoenixville Area School District teachers were also nominated for the award including:

Aamina Thornton, Alexander Reichl, Alison Curley, Alyse Woolf, Amber Leman, Bryan Frankenfield, Brittany Rotonda, Christine Tavani, Christine Trafford, Danielle Bowles, David Clarke, Hank Coyne, Jennifer Huxta, Jessica Scherff, Joseph Klapper, Julie Miller, Justin McAdams, Katie Skaw, Keira Kane, Kelley Sidlo, Kevin Corcoran, Kimberly Iero, Kristin Young, Kristine Evan, Lia Gutierrez, Lisa Gray, Madeline Crouse, Marcia Ford-Bey, Maria Riccio, Matthew Grzeskowiak, Michel Kryder, Natalie Hyrnko, Natalie Sadofsky and Teri Johnson.

In 2001, Citadel partnered with the Chester County Intermediate Unit to establish a program that recognizes and honors Chester County teachers. Since its inception, the Citadel Heart of Learning Award program has recognized thousands of teachers for their tireless dedication to students and the community.