Brooklyn principal Nadia Lopez makes short list for $1M Global Teacher Prize

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The Global Teacher Prize has been regarded by educators as the Nobel Prize of education, and one Brooklyn middle school principal is on this year’s short list.

Her name is Nadia Lopez, and she founded the Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brownsville Brooklyn in 2010, hoping to bring academic excellence to a community that had previously not been well served.

There are 50 other educators worldwide on the shortlist for the $1 million prize, and winners will be chosen in March. But while Lopez is flattered by the honor and is certainly proud of it, she says there are more important things to focus on … like her school.

“We’re in a state of emergency,” Lopez said, reports the NY Daily News. “Too many children are ending up in prison or not making it into the workforce. So our work has a lot of importance.”

Earlier this year January, Lopez and the Mott Hall Bridges Academy started making headlines when a Facebook post by Humans of New York founder Brandon Stanton, featuring one of her students, went viral. Vidal Chastanet, then 13-years-old, told the hit blogger his principal Ms. Lopez is the person that has influenced him most in life.

“When we get in trouble, she doesn’t suspend us,” the young teen said. “She calls us to her office and explains to us how society was built down around us.”

Shortly after the viral post, a fundraising campaign was started to send students to Harvard and on other school visits. The campaign raised over $1.4 million in just three weeks.