DUBAI, March 18 (Xinhua) -- United Arab Emirates (UAE) Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum handed out on Sunday the global teacher's prize to MacDonnell.
Sheikh Al-Maktoum was honoring her six-year-long students' program in the remote Ikusik School in the Canadian Arctic.
Following the prize ceremony, MacDonnell, nearly in tears, said "thank you your highness Sheikh Mohammed and the Varkey Foundation for sponsoring the prize. I believe so much in connecting humans and minds. We matter! Teachers matter!"
She also commended the work of the nine other finalists.
Widely regarded as the Nobel Prize for teaching, this is the prize's third year.
Ms. MacDonnell created a fitness center and a running club in Ikusik School, Salluit, Nunavik, Northern Quebec, Canada.
Seven of the members trained to enter a half marathon in Hawaii.
She also created a community life-skills programs which witnessed a 500 percent increase in girls' school registration in these programs, as well as assisted in establishing a student-run coffee shop in the town.
She stressed in her acceptance speech the importance of community work.
"In my remote community suicide rates in recent years were high due to a lack of education and social activities. Education not only develops people, but also heal societies."