Lynnwood teacher Jennie Warmouth on shortlist for global teacher prize

Jennie Warmouth

Jennie Warmouth, a second grade teacher at Lynnwood’s Spruce Elementary, has been included in the top 50 shortlist for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2021, in partnership with UNESCO.

Now in its seventh year, the $1 million Global Teacher Prize is the largest prize of its kind. Warmouth was selected from over 8,000 nominations and applications from 121 countries around the world.

The Global Teacher Prize was set up to recognize one exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society. By unearthing thousands of stories of heroes that have transformed young people’s lives, the prize hopes to bring to life the exceptional work of millions of teachers all over the world.

This year, the Varkey Foundation launched the Global Student Prize, a sister award to its $1 million Global Teacher Prize, to spotlight the efforts of extraordinary students everywhere who are reshaping our world for the better. The winning student will receive $100,000.

Jennie Warmouth teaching at Spruce Elementary. (2019 file photo courtesy Jennie Warmouth)

According to the Varkey Foundation announcement, Warmouth works with students from diverse and often low-income backgrounds, and developed a writing program in which students craft advertisements for difficult-to-place pets at the Lynnwood-based Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). This writing program, together with donation and fundraising drives, has helped some of her traumatized students work through their difficulties while building their empathy through helping universally loved cats and dogs. (Read more about this initiative in our earlier story here.)

In addition, Warmouth was the 2019 recipient of the Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship, which sent her the Arctic to track polar bears.

“Congratulations to Jennie for reaching the final 50,” said Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation. “Her story clearly highlights the importance of education in tackling the great challenges ahead – from climate change to growing inequality to global pandemics. It is only by prioritizing education that we can safeguard all our tomorrows. Education is the key to facing the future with confidence.”

The top 10 finalists of both the Global Teacher Prize and the Global Student Prize will be announced in October this year. The winners of both prizes will be chosen from the respective top 10 finalists by the Global Teacher Prize Academy and the Global Student Prize Academy, made up of prominent individuals. The winners are due to be announced at an awards ceremony in Paris in November.



  1. Jennie Warmouth was a star when my kids were at Spruce in the late 90’s and early 2000s. She still looks like a new young teacher, but she has time under her belt and is really an inspired teacher. This project connects students with a local non-profit organization we can all be proud of – PAWS, goes well beyond the classroom, and utilizes the empathy of students. What a great way to engage students. I met a lot of great teachers doing innovative work at Spruce, and at each of the schools in the Edmonds School District. Recognition is spotty, this recognition is well deserved. Good going Jennie Warmouth.

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