US Teacher Wins Global Teacher Prize

When the Varkey Foundation launched the Global Teacher Prize, their idea was to create the equivalent of a “Nobel Prize” for teaching.  They believe that no system of education can be better than it’s teachers, and they’re working to increase the status of teachers.  They want the world to recognize teaching is a valuable profession.  The Dubai-based foundation, this month, announced that US teacher Nancie Atwell, an English teacher from Maine, has won this year’s inaugural prize.  Global finalists hailed from 10 different countries, including the United Kingdom, India, and Afghanistan.  On hand to award the million-dollar prize was President Bill Clinton, along with foundation dignitaries.

Nancy Atwell accepting the 2015 Global Teacher Prize

Nancy Atwell accepting the 2015 Global Teacher Prize


Something to Sing About (video)

About 200 people got together at the Will Rogers Theatre in Oklahoma City to honor Meredith Ziegler, 26, as Oklahoma City Public School‘s Teacher of the Year.

The vocal music teacher at Wilson Arts Integration Elementary School has something new to sing about: a new car!  Randall Reed Ford donated a brand new 2014 Ford Escape.  She will also receive a classroom grant worth $1,500.  Todd Ritz, General Manager of Randall Reed Ford said, “It’s simply amazing when you think of all that our teachers do for our children day in and day out.”

Zeigler New Car

Todd Ritz, General Manager of Randall Reed Ford, presents Meredith Ziegler with a new Ford Escape.


The Oklahoman reports that Zeigler also directs the apprentice choir for the Canterbury Choral Society and is working on her masters degree at the University of Oklahoma.

Other 2014 Finalists included:

  • Matt Ross, Northwest Classen High School
  • David Helm, Capitol Hill High School
  • Kimberly Massicotte, John Marshall High School
  • Bettie Shadoan, Monroe Elementary School
  • Carrie Snyder-Renfro, Oklahoma Centennial Mid-High School
  • Mary Tran, Northeast Academy for Health Sciences and Engineering Enterprise

Each finalist received a $750 classroom grant.

(Top photo credit: M.Tim Blake/The Oklahoman)

Touchdown for Teachers (video)

This year’s  Touchdown for Teachers grand prize winner was Jeff Dinse, a seventh-grade social studies teacher at North Park Junior High School.  The Union-Sun & Journal (Lockport, NY) reports that Mr. Dinse had produced a video that celebrates the cultural diversity of his school’s population.  The video, based on the song, “All Kinds of Kinds” by Miranda Lambert, has gotten more than 70,000 hits on YouTube and even captured the attention of Lambert herself, who mentioned it on her Twitter feed.

Here’s the award-winning video:

The Buffalo Bills professional NFL football team honored five teachers for their outstanding service to their schools and communities.  The finalists were selected by a panel of community members and school officials, with the help of staff from the Buffalo Bills and the main sponsor, M&T Bank.  For the past five years, the “Touchdown for Teachers” program had been done during the Fall, but this year it was moved to the Spring season, to correspond with the NFL Draft.

Mr. Dinse received $2,000 in grant funds for his school, a behind the scenes experience with the football team, an in-class visit from a player, and tickets to the Draft Day party.

In November 2013, Buffalo Bills Defensive End Mario Williams visited the classroom of last year’s winner Patrick Wirth at Union Pleasant Elementary School, in Hamburg, NY.

Image Source: Patrimonio Designs / Dollar Photo Club

Princeton to Honor Four Secondary Teachers

From Princeton University’s Office of Communications:

Princeton University will honor four exceptional New Jersey secondary school teachers at its 2014 Commencement on Tuesday, June 3.

This year’s honorees are Christa Cordes, East Side High School, Newark; Luke De, The Pingry School, Basking Ridge; Daniel Foerg-Spittel, Tenafly Middle School, Tenafly; and Lily Lee, Northern Valley Regional High School, Old Tappan.

The teachers were selected for the award from 80 nominations from public and private schools around the state. Each teacher will receive $5,000, as well as $3,000 for his or her school library.

“Over 100 years ago, John Dewey wrote, ‘education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.’ The four teachers we recognize and honor with this reward remind us of this fact; that education is not about being ‘college or career ready.’ Such a view of education, they would argue, is not only foolish, it is shortsighted and dangerous,” said Christopher Campisano, director of Princeton’s Program in Teacher Preparation.

“These distinguished educators remind us that the true value of an education is found in the ongoing quest to fulfill one’s destiny and that journey never ends.”

The staff of the Program in Teacher Preparation selected 11 finalists, each of whom was visited at their school by a member of the program staff. Award winners were selected by a committee that was chaired by Dean of the College Valerie Smith. The panel also included Campisano, University faculty members Joshua Katz and Stanley Katz; Steve Cochrane, superintendent of the Princeton Public Schools; and Laura Morana, interim executive county superintendent of schools for Mercer County.

“These teachers serve as a testament to the quality of education found in our schools today and serve as an inspiration to all future and practicing teachers,” Campisano said.

Princeton has honored secondary school teachers since 1959. The University received an anonymous gift from an alumnus to establish the program.