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J'can misses out on US$1m global teacher prize

Sunday, March 19, 2017 | 10:00 AM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaican teacher Tracy-Ann Hall today missed out on winning the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2017.

Maggie MacDonnell, a teacher at the Canadian Arctic, won the US$1 million prize, which was announced by an astronaut from the International Space Station a short while ago.

She lives and works in Salluit, an Inuit village deep in the Canadian Arctic. The village is so remote that it’s accessible only by air, the Varkey Foundation detailed on its website.

MacDonnell had earlier said that if she won the prize she would establish a non-profit organisation to support youth engagement, culture preservation and global citizenship.


Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has congratulated MacDonnell via video message.

Hall, an automotive technology teacher at Jonathan Grant High School in Spanish Town, St Catherine, was among the 10 finalists selected from a pool of 20,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries.

She planned on buying resources for her school and the auto club she runs, as well as supporting various local families and children’s charities, if she won the prize.

Now in its third year, the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher award is the largest prize of its kind and was set up to recognise one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.

The winner was announced at the Global Education and Skills Conference currently taking place in Dubai.

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