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And the winner is…

The winner of the Global Teacher Prize 2021 is Keisha Thorpe, who has won US$1million. 

Now a high school English teacher to those for whom English is a further language at the International High School in Bladensburg, Maryland, Thorpe emigrated to the USA from Jamaica as a child and was awarded a track and field scholarship which allowed her to attend Harvard University.

Among her accomplishments are co-founding a nonprofit organisation with her sister that supports students from around the world pursuing scholarships to colleges and universities in the States.

She also redesigned her 12th-grade curriculum to make it more culturally accessible for her students, 85% of whom are Hispanic and 95% of whom come from low-income households. The judges gave her the prize for her work mentoring first-generation, immigrant and refugee students to support and mentor them in pursuing further education, including helping them apply for scholarships, fill out college application forms and pass entrance exams.

“Every child needs a champion, an adult who will never ever give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the very best they can be,” Thorpe told NBC after her win. “This is exactly why teachers will always matter.”

She was congratulated after the award ceremony, which took place in Paris, by former UK prime minister Gordon Brown, now the UN special envoy for global education, and former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon.

Image courtesy of Library
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Liz Granirer
Liz Granirer
Liz has been a journalist for many years. She is currently editor of EL Gazette and has previously edited the magazines Young Performer, StepForward and Accounting Technician; been deputy editor on Right Start magazine; chief sub editor on Country Homes & Interiors; and sub editor on easyJet Traveller, Lonely Planet and Family Traveller magazines, along with a number of others.
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