Canadian teacher Maggie MacDonnell, who works in the remote Inuit community of Salluit, Que.,
has won a $1 million prize. (Photo: Global Teacher Prize)MacDonnell was among 10 finalists flown to Dubai to attend the ceremony. The nine others hail from Pakistan, the UK, Jamaica, Spain, Germany, China, Kenya, Australia and Brazil. MacDonnell has been teaching for six years in a remote Arctic village called Salluit. According to her biography, Salluit is home to the second northernmost Inuit indigenous community in Quebec, with a population of just over 1,300, and can only be reached by air.
MacDonnell created healthy meal, job programsHer perseverance to continue teaching in the remote area, where many teachers leave their post midway through the year, made her a standout for the award. MacDonnell created a number of programs for boys and girls, including job mentorship and funds to assist with healthy meals. She also established a fitness
Maggie MacDonnell, winner of the $1-million Global Teacher Prize, works with Inuit teenagers in Salluit, Que. (Photo: Global Teacher Prize)"The memory that continues to haunt me is when I see these Canadian teenagers, their very own classmates of the deceased, literally digging the grave," she said. "I didn't know until I came to Salluit that that was a Canadian reality." Last year, Palestinian teacher Hanan al-Hroub won for her efforts in encouraging students to renounce violence and embrace dialogue. The inaugural prize went to Nancie Atwell, an English teacher from Maine.
"I didn't know until I came to Salluit that that was a Canadian reality."The award is presented by the Varkey Foundation. Its founder, Sunny Varkey, established the for-profit GEMS Education company, which has more than 250 schools around the world. The foundation's CEO, Vikas Pota, said in a statement that the award aims to shine a spotlight on great teachers and share their stories with the world. Also Sunday, 15 countries, including Chile, Iraq, Japan, Pakistan, Portugal, Somalia, Ukraine and Yemen, announced they would launch national teaching prizes with the support of the Varkey Foundation.
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