Noah Zeichner

Noah Zeichner '04 is one of 50 finalists for a $1 million award designed to be the Nobel Prize of education.

Zeichner, who teaches social studies and Spanish at Seattle's Chief Sealth International High School, will find out in March whether he is the recipient of the Global Teacher Prize sponsored by Varkey GEMS Foundation. The award is designed to elevate the teaching profession by honoring educators who spark learning, prepare students to be good global citizens, and encourage others to become teachers.

Zeichner recently was named World Educator of the Year by the Seattle branch of the World Affairs Council. For the past seven years, he has taught a Global Leadership class in which students learn to work as a community as they study contemporary global problems. His students then take their knowledge to a nearby elementary school and teach 4th graders lessons that they develop together. In 2010, Zeichner and one of his Global Leadership students co-founded World Water Week, a local ideas festival that is now in its fourth year.

A graduate of the University of Washington College of Education's Secondary Teacher Education Program, Zeichner was chosen by the International Research & Exchanges Board in 2011 to be a Teacher for Global Classrooms Fellow. The program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, included a trip to visit schools in Brazil in 2012.  Since 2004 he has served as a Global Visionaries Lead Teacher and has traveled to Guatemala with students multiple times. For the past three years, he has split his time between teaching and working with the Center for Teaching Quality, supporting their global teacher leadership initiatives.

Read Zeichner's biography on the Global Teacher Prize website.

The 50 finalists for the prize were chosen from 1,300 teachers in 127 countries. Sixteen of the 50 are from the United States. The list will be winnowed to 10 in February, and the winner will be named in March in Dubai.

Zeichner was interviewed by The Seattle Times Education Lab blog earlier this year about what it means to be a "teacherpreneur."


Dustin Wunderlich, Director for Marketing and Communications