The following press release is from Fargo Public Schools:

Fargo Public Schools is proud of South High School English Learner Language Arts Teacher Leah Juelke for her accomplishments and becoming at Top 10 Finalist for the Global Teacher Prize. The winner was announced this morning via a virtual awards ceremony. Ranjitsinh Disale, a teacher from India, won the $1 million prize. Disale has decided to share half of his prize money with the other nine finalists. Juelke will now receive $55,000 and has decided to use the money to develop a scholarship fund for local refugee and immigrant students who want to go to college to become teachers. More details on the scholarship fund are forthcoming.

Juelke says, “Such a huge gesture shows the world what an exemplary and selfless individual Ranjit is. There could be no better role model for teachers than Ranjit. In the year of COVID, which has brought unimaginable challenges to teachers across the world, he is a shining symbol of the incredible work that teachers do. It is why I and the other finalists are so proud to call him our friend. Thank you, Ranjit.”

Juelke’s students in the English learner program are refugees and immigrants. Now in its 7th year, Leah and her students developed an ongoing “Journey to America” project, where her new American students documented and shared their personal stories. In addition, Juelke has published two other professional books with her students: “Green Card Youth Voices: Fargo” and “We Are America: Fargo.” These books are sold online and are being used as curriculum in classrooms all over the United States. Juelke also collaborates with classrooms around the globe to help her students connect to the curriculum to empower them to advocate for what they believe in.

Fargo Public Schools congratulates Leah Juelke on her honor as a Top 10 Finalist for the Global Teacher Prize. She was selected from more than 12,000 nominations from more than 140 countries. Fargo Public Schools also congratulates Mr. Disale and all the other finalists.