This Teacher Just Won a $1M Prize for Teaching Acts of Hope and Kindness

Maggie MacDonnel spent the past six years working in Salluit — a remote Arctic village in Quebec that can only be reached by air, and is home to 1,300 Inuit indigenous people.

On Sunday, she was awarded one of the most high-profile awards for teaching excellence: the Global Teacher Prize, Cosmopolitan reports.

The prize, which is three years old, is awarded to one recipient each year for exceptionality that employs innovative classroom practices and encourages others to join the teaching profession, Cosmopolitan reports.

MacDonnel won the $1 million prize for encouraging "hope and acts of kindness" on Sunday at a ceremony in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She plans to use the money to help the village establish an environmental stewardship program to recreate the ties between the young generation and cultural traditions.

Last year, Hanan al-Hroub took home the prize for her work in teaching children to have open dialogues and conversations about doing away with violence.

Fifteen countries including Chile, Iraq, Japan, Pakistan, Portugal, Somalia, Ukraine, and Yemen have since been inspired by the prize and are planning to launch their own national teaching prizes with the help of the Varkey Foundation, which airs the Global Teacher Prize.

CEO of the Varkey Foundation, Sunny Varkey, said in a statement that the award aims to shine a spotlight on great teachers and share their stories with the world, Cosmopolitan reports.

Over MacDonnel's time in Salluit, she has created job mentorship programs, funds to assist with healthy meals, community kitchens, suicide prevention training, and has established a fitness center.

She hopes the community will "be treated with the dignity that they deserve."

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Photo Credit: Facebook/ Global Teacher Prize

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