The winner of the first ever million-dollar Nobel-style award for teaching has pledged to donate the prize fund to a school she founded 25 years ago.
Nancie Atwell, from Maine in the US, picked up the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize, which recognises an “exceptional” individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.
Ms Atwell has said she will donate the full award to the Center for Teaching and Learning, a non-profit school she founded in Maine in 1990.
The school seeks out youngsters from poorer backgrounds and has a student body with a diverse range of social backgrounds and ability levels. Around 97% of its pupils go on to university.
It also conducts seminars and publishes the results of its educational research.
Over 600 teachers from across the US and abroad have visited the school to learn about its best practices, and its 75 pupils have access to a library in every room, with tens of thousands of books to choose from.
Each month, more than 10,000 teachers visit the school’s website to learn about the books that students recommend.
The prize fund is expected to be used to fund tuition assistance, buy more books and renovate the school grounds.
Speaking at the ceremony ahead of the announcement, former US president Bill Clinton said: “The most important thing this prize has done is reawaken the world’s appreciation of the importance of teachers.
“It’s so easy to take for granted the fact that every dedicated teacher on earth is intelligent and gifted enough to have chosen to do something else with his or her life.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved