Mr. Hancock was recently chosen as a finalist for the prestigious Global Teacher Prize, named the “Nobel Prize of Teaching.”  This award comes with a million dollar prize.  Mr. Hancock collaborated with the other 49 finalists in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in March as part of the Global Education and Skills Forum to improve global education.  Mr. Hancock was the only teacher from California chosen, and one of only six from the U.S.  The prize is run by the Varkey Foundation, a non-profit foundation based in London to improve education worldwide.  The Global Teacher Prize recognizes an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession, and aims to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society, foundation officials said in a press release. More than 30,000 teachers were nominated across 173 countries, according to the release. The foundation has narrowed its selection to 50 finalists, representing 33 countries. “Keith has truly found a way to help his students take the great musical texts and connect it to their own lives,” said Vikas Pota, chief executive officer of the foundation. “In particular, he has translated songs sung in different languages so his students understand the stories behind the music. He has clearly demonstrated that he can inspire his students in music and life.” The Global Teacher Prize was established in 2013 after a study conducted by the foundation, which gathered in-depth opinions on teachers in 21 countries, had shown the status of teachers had dropped in many countries.  “I hope (Hancock’s) story inspires those looking to enter the teaching profession and shines a spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over the world every day,” Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation and the Global Teacher Prize, said in a release.

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