Teacher of the Year winner gets award on live TV

On May 5, Philadelphia area TV view­ers enjoyed a spe­cial live sur­prise pre­sen­ta­tion at Herbert Hoover Elementary School on the Good Day Philadelphia show. First-grade teacher Anna Marie Hunton was teach­ing in her class­room when she was sur­prised with the Elementary Teacher of the Year Grand Prize for the 2023 Citadel Heart of Learning Award on live TV. The broad­cast start­ed in Principal Dr. David Glennon’s office, where host Bob Kelly joined her fam­i­ly, col­leagues and a for­mer stu­dent before walk­ing down the hall to her class­room where she was pre­sent­ed with her award. Winners for this award, which cov­ers the entire Philadelphia region, are cho­sen from hun­dreds of nom­i­na­tions. 31 teach­ers in grades K‑12 received an award, but of those only three are named Grand Prize Winners (one each for ele­men­tary, mid­dle and high school). The award comes with a $5000 grant for Ms. Hunton and anoth­er $5000 grant for Hoover Elementary School.
“It was, to say the least, a sur­prise when news cam­eras, co-workers, and my fam­i­ly burst into my class­room,” Ms. Hunton recalled. “I think I was in shock well into the week­end hon­est­ly.” “I feel very blessed and hon­ored to have been rec­og­nized for this award. I believe that the best thing about teach­ing — and the real reward — has been learn­ing along­side my stu­dents, work­ing with amaz­ing teach­ers and staff, and hav­ing the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work with so many won­der­ful fam­i­lies in the com­mu­ni­ty for over 30 years. First grade is an espe­cial­ly great place because it is such a big year for growth! Thank you to Mrs. Brandt (a par­ent of one of her stu­dents) for writ­ing such a kind let­ter. I tru­ly am the lucky one!”
The Citadel Heart of Learning Award, now in its 23rd year, is a teach­ing excel­lence award that rec­og­nizes local teach­ers who show ded­i­ca­tion both in and out of the class­room. There is no doubt that Ms. Hunton qual­i­fies on every count — she has been teach­ing for 33 years, 30 of those years at Hoover Elementary School. She has taught first grade since 2002. She is also a Neshaminy grad­u­ate who attend­ed col­lege at Temple University and Rider University.
“Mrs. Hunton is an amaz­ing teacher,” said Dr. Glennon. “She taught (second-grade teacher) Laura Krantz, who is also now a teacher at Hoover.” “The stu­dents and staff were thrilled that she won this award. We are all very proud of her.”