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Award-winning Chestnut Hill principal known for her hugs inspired by her grandfather's story

Chestnut Hill principal one of 7 Lindback Award winners, using $20K grant to help revamp school
Chestnut Hill principal one of 7 Lindback Award winners, using $20K grant to help revamp school 03:33

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Corinne Scioli showed us a picture of her grandfather and recalled the first time she knew she was destined to teach.

"I just started writing my name on the dirt," Scioli said.

"He said, 'Can you show me how to to that?'" Scioli continued. "He started tracing my letters."

Corinne Scioli's grandfather. One of the award-winning principal's earliest memories of wanting to teach was when she showed her handwriting to her grandfather. Corinne Scioli

At the time of that story, Scioli was about as old as her youngest students at the School District of Philadelphia's Jenks Academy for the Arts and Sciences, on Germantown and Southampton avenues in Chestnut Hill.

That's where every morning, Principal Scioli can be found outside greeting her students with a smile and a hug.

She's now been named one of the best in the district. The Lindback Foundation is presenting its annual Distinguished Principal Award to seven Philadelphia school district administrators.

Corinne Scioli poses with a student in the hallway at Jenks Academy for the Arts and Sciences. CBS News Philadelphia

Scioli, a University of Pennsylvania alum, is one seven administrators to receive the prestigious Lindback Award, which also comes with a $20,000 stipend for their school. Principals are nominated by their peers.

"All this pomp and circumstance makes me a little uneasy, because I don't do any of this for any fame or glory," Scioli said.

Scioli said the money will be used to build more collaborative spaces similar to the use of the school's library. She wants to turn the gym into more of a multipurpose room that can be used by the neighborhood.


The space could be used for "community partners to come in, sit around tables with our children and really develop projects and programs that are going to impact the community in the world," Scioli said.

Throughout our time spent in the school, students kept coming up to greet Principal Scioli with a smile and a hug. It all comes back to the story of her grandfather and what inspired her to teach.

"That same core love I felt on that day, I feel today," Scioli said.

And every morning after.

Congratulations to all recipients of this year's Lindback Awards. The awards for Scioli and six other administrators were announced first, and next month, the Lindback Foundation will award 60 teachers across the School District of Philadelphia a $3,500 stipend.

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