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Maine Educator Wins $1 Million Global Teacher Prize

Nancie Atwell, a Maine educator who founded an innovative school that focuses on reading, was awarded the Global Teacher Award on Sunday in Dubai. The award also comes with $1 million.

"Atwell, 63, was lauded for her innovative methods for improving reading education, which includes her school, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and the push for her students to read up to 40 books a year," reports United Press International. "She rose to the top of a pool of some 5,000 candidates representing 127 different countries, and 10 finalists for the distinction."

The award was presented by former President Bill Clinton, who stated: "I think the most important thing this prize has done is re-awaken the world's appreciation of the importance of teachers." The Global Teacher Prize is sponsored by the Varkey GEMS Foundation, a business that provides a private education to more than 140,000 students in more than 150 countries.

In January, Atwell was reported to tell the Bangor Daily News that should would use the winnings to "better her school, buy more books and provide more student scholarships."

"I've learned, and I'm still learning, how to make a school a place of happiness and wisdom for my students and myself," Atwell was reported to say during her acceptance speech. "I love the challenges. I love my teaching life."

Atwell has also written a number of books about teaching and educational methods, including 1987's "In The Middle," which has sold more than 500,000 copies.

Read the full story.

By Samantha DiMauro, Education World Contributor

Note: An earlier version of this story had Atwell's first name spelled incorrectly.

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