Maggie MacDonnell

The Million Dollar Teacher


Maggie MacDonnell, aka “The Million Dollar Teacher” was chosen from over 20,000 nominated teachers from 179 countries. From palm trees to polar bears, Maggie has spent decades teaching with and learning from resilient populations across the globe – including East African refugees to Inuit in the Canadian Arctic.


Maggie tears down the traditional classroom walls and co-creates new ones – rooted in a pedagogy of community, empowerment and woven together with empathy, love and relationships.

WATCH: Maggie MacDonnell | Good Morning Britain


Leadership Lessons from A Million Dollar Teacher

Walk into Maggie’s Arctic classroom and unpack leadership lessons from her journey to being named the winner of the USD 1,000,000 Global Teacher Prize.


Her inspiring classroom practices will showcase how students become agents of change in their own community. Through unforgettable stories, Maggie breaks down how she builds award-winning teams even when it seems that everything  is stacked against her – including a suicide crisis.


This riveting keynote will dive deep into Maggie’s award-winning classroom – sharing unforgettable stories of the power of teaching.


Meet Maggie’s students who carry on their shoulders both inter-generational trauma and remarkable resilience – all while battling a youth suicide crisis. Through riveting stories, outside-the-box thinking, and a relationship-based approach, Maggie demonstrates how teachers can save lives. 


Your audience will laugh, and your audience will cry. But most importantly, your audience will find hope again  – and never again underestimate how much teachers matter!


In a world where play can be undervalued – Maggie’s captivating real world stories  underscore the power of play. Whether working in a refugee camp in Tanzania, to teaching in an Inuit Arctic community, Maggie’s play-based approaches drive phenomenal success stories and literally transform lives.

Join her for a keynote where you can meet the world’s coldest running club – a group of “pack a day” teenage smokers battling a suicide crisis who turn into marathon runners, fundraising $500,000.


Be it getting youth outside and on the land, to co-creating recreation infrastructure, to making play spaces safe and welcoming for girls – Maggie will bring inspiration to your audience through her stories.


Maggie holds a Masters in the Sociology of Sport and previous research has been shared at Olympic government round-tables.

Dr. Stephen Peters
Author / Campus Speakers / Communication / Diversity and Inclusion / Education / Leadership
Book Michael Ungar
Adversity / Communication / Education / Experts / Next Generation / Social Change