Three teachers from the Coatesville Area, Twin Valley, and Kennett Consolidated School Districts took top honors among a group of 15 educators from across Chester County who were awarded the Citadel Heart of Learning Award on Tuesday night in Malvern.

The banquet, at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center, honored Joanne Kiwak, who teaches German at Coatesville Area Senior High School; Donna McDermott, a language-arts teacher from Twin Valley Middle School; and Bill Hicks, fifth-grade teacher at Greenwood Elementary School in the Kennett district, as the winners at each school level. The winners each received $1,500 for use in their classrooms.

The Heart of Learning award, in its sixth year, was created by Citadel, a Chester County financial-services company, in conjunction with the Chester County Intermediate Unit to honor excellence in education.

The 15 finalists were selected from more than 2,000 nominations submitted by students, parents, teachers and administrators. Each finalist received $500 for use in their classrooms, and a custom glass sculpture from Simon Pearce.

The other finalists, by district, are:

Avon Grove - Rebecca Roberts, Penn London Elementary School.

Downingtown Area - Julie Bannan, Uwchlan Hills Elementary School.

Great Valley - Paula Landrum, Sugartown Elementary School.

Octorara Area - Nicole Bonaduce-Davis, Octorara Primary Learning Center.

Owen J. Roberts - Karin Suzadail, Owen J. Roberts High School.

Oxford Area - Duffy Sample, Penn's Grove Middle School.

Phoenixville Area - Cheryl Everett, Phoenixville Area High School,

Tredyffrin/Easttown - Sandra Cooper, New Eagle Elementary School.

Unionville-Chadds Ford - Todd Picard, Hillendale Elementary School.

West Chester Area - Frank Nefos, Fugett Middle School.

Intermediate Unit - Mark Serfass, Center for Arts and Technology, Brandywine Campus.

Nonpublic - David McQuiston, Bishop Shanahan High School

- Will Hobson