15th March 2015: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Winners announcement event in Dubai
Bill Clinton speech
profile package on Nancie Atwell Interview with Sunny Varkey, Founder of the Varkey Foundation
The biggest prize in the history of teaching has been won by American teacher Nancie Atwell, who has established her own system for teaching children to read and write inspiring a lifetime's passion for literature.
In front of a packed conference hall in Dubai, Nancie was given a standing ovation as she was awarded the inaugural Global Teacher Prize which brings with it prize money of a million US dollars.
Nancie told the cheering audience: "I'm honoured to accept this award especially so in the company of these extraordinary teachers." The Award is designed to become the teaching equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize.
On stage at the ceremony was former President Bill Clinton, the Honourary Chairman of the Varkey Foundation which awarded the prize as well HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Former President, Bill Clinton said: "I think the most important thing this prize has done is to reawaken the world's appreciation of the importance of teachers."
Nancie was handed the coveted prize by Sunny Varkey, the founder of the Varkey Foundation.
The Foundation received more than five thousand nominations from around the world before whittling the entrants down to ten finalists - all of whom were present at the ceremony.
The eventual winner was decided by votes from an Academy of experts drawn from around the globe in a process overseen by PWC.
Nancie has written many critically acclaimed books about her teaching methods which centre on giving children the chance to choose which books they will read and study.
She has also established a non-profit demonstration school, the Center for Teaching and Learning in her home State of Maine, which passes on to children and fellow teachers from around the world the basic lessons of her approach to learning.
The results have been extraordinarily impressive.
Nancie has committed to using the entire amount of prize money to expand her school and teach more students, many of whom come front underprivileged backgrounds.
The Global Teacher Prize is the brainchild of the Foundation chairman, Sunny Varkey , and is designed to enhance the status of teaching as a profession and to encourage more children to become teachers.
For more information go to globalteacherprize.org/