The Jakarta Post
Maggie MacDonnell was chosen from 20,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries for her work in “changing the lives of her students and transforming her community”. (Shutterstock/File)
Maggie MacDonnell, a Canadian teacher in the fly-in-only Inuit village of Salluit, Québec, has won the US$1 million Global Teacher Prize.
MacDonnell was chosen from 20,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries for her work in “changing the lives of her students and transforming her community”.
Due to the remote location of her current post, teachers frequently leave the place and the suicide rate among teens is high. MacDonnell herself has witnessed more than 10. “As a teacher, when I come to school the morning after there is an empty desk in that classroom. There is stillness and silence,” she said. “Thank you for bringing global attention to them.”
The teacher has created a life skills program aimed at the young women in her area, as both the teen pregnancy and sexual assault rates are high, according to a biography of MacDonnell on the Global Teacher Prize website. She has also established a fitness center for the community, forged a partnership with a daycare to get her student’s job mentoring and has even acted as a temporary foster parent.
MacDonnell was presented with the award at a ceremony in Dubai and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated her in a video message. “We are all proud of you,” he said. (sul/kes)