Nancie Atwell

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Nancie Atwell
ResidenceEdgecomb, Maine[1]
NationalityUnited States
Years active1973–2013[2]
Spouse(s)Toby McLeod[2]
ChildrenAnne Atwell-McLeod[2]

Nancie Atwell is an American educator who in 2015 became the first recipient of the Global Teacher Prize,[4] a $1 million award presented by the Varkey Foundation to "one innovative and caring teacher who has made an inspirational impact on their students and their community".[5][6]


A teacher since 1973, Atwell started her career in western New York, but found traditional teaching methods constraining.[7]

In 1990 Atwell founded the nonprofit Center for Teaching and Learning, a school at Edgecomb in rural Maine where students read an average of 40 books a year, choose which books they read, and write prolifically.[8][7][6][4] She donated the $1 million from her 2015 Global Teacher Prize to the upkeep, development, and scholarships of the school, which is also a demonstration school for developing and disseminating teaching methods.[8][9][10]

Atwell has authored nine books on teaching. In The Middle: New Understandings About Writing, Reading, and Learning (1987) has sold more than half a million copies.[8][4]


Nancie Atwell was apprehended on theft charges in 2016 and 2018.[11]

Selected books[edit]

  • In The Middle: New Understandings About Writing, Reading, and Learning (1987).
  • Side by Side
  • Lessons That Change Writers
  • Naming the World: A Year of Poems and Lessons
  • The Reading Zone
  • Systems to Transform Your Classroom and School

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Faculty: Nancie Atwell". Center for Teaching and Learning. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Kristoff, Lisa (3 June 2013). "CTL founder retires". Boothbay Register. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize". Modern Language Association. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Coughlan, Sean. "Global teacher prize winner to give away $1m". BBC News. 15 March 2015.
  5. ^ "About The Global Teacher Prize". Varkey Foundation. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Nancie Atwell Of Maine Wins $1 Million Global Teaching Prize". NPR. 16 March 2015.
  7. ^ a b Gambino, Lauren. "The world's best teacher lives in rural Maine and doesn't care about test scores". The Guardian. 23 March 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Associated Press. "Maine Teacher Wins $1 Million Global Teacher Prize in Dubai". New York Times. 15 March 2015.
  9. ^ Marsh, Sarah. "US teacher wins $1m for developing reading and writing skills". The Guardian. 15 March 2015.
  10. ^ "10 Incredible Facts about Prize Winner Nancie Atwell". 19 March 2015.
  11. ^ "Maine teacher who won $1 million to be sentenced for shoplifting". Retrieved Mar 25, 2019.

External links[edit]