A Waialua teacher inches closer to a global teaching award, and its $1M prize

Updated: Feb. 13, 2018 at 10:11 PM HST
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WAIALUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Oahu teacher is one step closer to a $1,000,000 prize. He's also the only American in the running for the global award.

Waialua High and Intermediate Robotics teacher Glenn Lee was one announced as one of the top 50 finalists last month for the Varkey Foundation's Global Teacher Prize.

It's a recognition that carries the equivalence of the Nobel Prize of teaching.

This week, Lee found out he made it to the top 10. He's up against teachers from South Africa, Turkey, Norway, Belgium and more.

Lee is credited with turning Waialua's STEM and Robotics program into one of the best in the state.

In January, Hawaii News Now met some of Lee's students who had nothing but the highest of praises for their teacher.

"He's one of those people, that if you ask him for something that's going to help you grow and learn, he's going to do it, he'll go out of his way," 8th grader Levi Kim said.

The winner of the teaching award and the $1,000,000 cash prize will be announced next month in Dubai.

If he wins, Lee said, "(I'd) Donate 10 percent, or $100,000, to our program to create scholarships, funding and to help sustain our program," Lee said. "When people say Waialua, I want them to say we are the best STEM program in the world."

This story may be updated.

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