Application and nomination dates for the Global Teacher Prize will be confirmed in due course.

US teacher Keishia Thorpe, who has opened up college education for low-income, first-generation American, immigrant and refugee students, has been named the winner of the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2021.

Meanwhile, Igor Klymenko, a student from Ukraine, passionate about raising awareness of and solving the global landmine problem, he developed the ‘Quadcopter Mines Detector’.  Igor has been named the winner of the Global Student Prize 2022.  The US$100,000 sister award to the Global Teacher Prize is given to one exceptional student who has made a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers, and on society beyond.

Keishia, an English teacher at International High School Langley Park, Bladensburg, Maryland, was selected from over 8,000 nominations and applications for the Global Teacher Prize from 121 countries around the world. 

Igor, a 17-year-old student from Ukraine, was selected from over 7,000 nominations and applications for the Global Student Prize.

Read more about Keishia’s extraordinary work

Find out more about Igor and his achievements

French actress Isabelle Huppert announced Keishia as the winner of the Global Teacher Prize.  The announcement was part of a virtual ceremony broadcast from UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.

Together, the Global Teacher Prize and the Global Student Prize tell inspirational stories from both sides of education. The prizes shine a spotlight on the great work teachers do in preparing young people for the future and the amazing promise some of the brightest students are showing in their learning and far beyond.

Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation, said:

“Congratulations to Keishia for winning the Global Teacher Prize 2021. Her incredible story shows the vital role education plays in tackling the great challenges of today and tomorrow.”

Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO, said:

“Congratulations to Keishia for winning the Global Teacher Prize 2021. UNESCO was proud to host the 2021 Global Teacher Prize ceremony at our headquarters in Paris. Inspirational teachers and extraordinary students alike deserve recognition for their commitment to education amid the learning crisis we see today. Now more than ever, we must honor and support our teachers and students as they look to rebuild a better world in the wake of COVID.”

About the Varkey Foundation

Every child, everywhere, deserves a good teacher.

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About the Global Student Prize

The Global Student Prize is a US$100,000 award presented to an exceptional student, making a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers and on society beyond.

Find out more

Ranjitsinh Disale 2020

Indian village teacher, who transformed the life chances of young girls is our 2020 Global Teacher Prize Winner