Python is a widely used general purpose programming language. It is a great first language for teaching purposes, and also a language that is in high demand in industry. Even better, it is free and open source, installed by default on most Linux and Mac OSX systems, and easily installed on Windows.
Several important administration tools in the RedHat/CentOS Enterprise Linux ecosystem are substantially written in Python, including the Anaconda system installer and the Yum package manager.
The following links contain plenty of good material to get you started with Python or to kick off an introductory eLearning unit on Python programming.