NOTICE: Online ordering will be offline on April 21st from 2AM to 8 AM for security upgrades. To place an order during this time, please call 800.225.5425 or email Apologies for the inconvenience.

Heinemann Author Nancie Atwell Wins $1 Million Global Teacher Prize

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – Heinemann, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is proud to announce that Nancie Atwell, author of In the Middle, has been awarded the inaugural $1 million Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize for her outstanding contribution to the field of learning. The Global Teacher Prize is a new award that seeks to bring the world’s greatest educators the same recognition that the Nobel Prize has brought to leading scientists, authors, economists, and advocates for peace.

Atwell was selected from a shortlist of 50 teachers following a year-long nomination process that included over 5,000 candidates representing more than 100 countries. She has pledged to donate the award to the Center for Teaching and Learning in Edgecomb, Maine, which she founded in 1990 and where she teaches writing, reading, and history.

Nancie Atwell is a highly respected educator in both the U.S. and abroad. She started her teaching career in 1973 and published her first book, In the Middle, in 1987. Now in its third edition, In the Middle has influenced hundreds of thousands of teachers, and is considered one of the definitive titles on teaching literacy. Atwell founded the Center for Teaching and Learning over 20 years ago to be a hub for academic research, and a place where students and teachers alike can cultivate their knowledge of the world as global citizens. 

“It is a great honor to receive the inaugural Global Teacher's Prize,” said Nancie Atwell. “Nothing in my professional life gives me more satisfaction than helping students do or understand something worthwhile. I started the Center for Teaching and Learning because I wanted to work with colleagues to develop new methods, and send them out into the world for the benefit of other teachers and students. I am grateful that this award will help us continue this work.” 

“Nancie's work has inspired generations of students and teachers,” said Vicki Boyd, Acting President, Heinemann. “We are delighted to see her devotion to her students and the teaching profession be recognized in this historic way.  Receiving the first Global Teacher Prize is an extraordinary and well-deserved honor for this extraordinary teacher.”


About In the Middle, Third Edition (Heinemann, 2014):
In Atwell’s own words, “The third edition of In the Middle is my invitation to English teachers, both veterans and novices, to understand writing, reading, and the workshop from the inside and to recognize our potential to influence our students' literacy for a lifetime.”

About Heinemann:
Heinemann provides professional resources and educational services for teachers, K–12. We support the professionalism and compassion of teachers as they help children become literate, empathetic, knowledgeable citizens. Our authors, exemplary educators eager to support their colleagues, have made us the leading publisher in our area. Heinemann is dedicated to teachers. For more information, visit

Heinemann is a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) is a global learning company with the mission of changing people’s lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. Among the world’s largest providers of pre-K–12 education solutions and one of its longest-established publishing houses, HMH combines cutting-edge research, editorial excellence, and technological innovation to improve teaching and learning environments and solve complex literacy and education challenges. HMH’s interactive, results-driven education solutions are utilized by more than 50 million students in over 150 countries, and its renowned and awarded novels, non-fiction, children's books, and reference works are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit

Jennifer Berlin
Director, Corporate Communications
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

For more information about the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize: