DESERT HOT SPRINGS – Dr. Brian McDaniel, a teacher at Painted Hills Middle School and 2018 California State Teacher of the Year,  has won a place in the top 50 finalists for the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019.

He is now one of one of four teachers from the United States to be eligible for the $1 million Global Teacher Prize (GTP) 2019.

“I live for the moments where you can see the transfer of knowledge manifest within the glow of a child’s eyes,” McDaniel said in a prepared statement, citing one of the reasons he chose a teaching career. “The central motivation of all teachers should be the growth and development of students in our care. If you don’t love them, you cannot teach them. If they don’t love you, they cannot learn.”

The global prize is now in its fifth year and is the largest award of its kind. The four United States teachers were selected from more than 10,000 nominations and applications from 179 countries around the world. The honor 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 roles teachers play in society.

The other United States finalists for the global prize are:
• Eric Crouch, a fifth-grade teacher at Double Churches Elementary School, Columbus, Ga;
• James Linville, Headmaster at the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accredited Abaarso School of Science and Technology, Somaliland; and
• Melissa Salguero, a music teacher at P.S.48 Joseph R Drake elementary school, the Bronx, N.Y..

The top 50 global prize finalists are from 39 countries. The top 50 will be narrowed down to 10 by a prize committee with results announced in February 2019. The winner will be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai on March 24, 2019 with all 10 finalists in attendance for the announcement at the ceremony.

“Congratulations to Brian, Eric, James and Melissa for reaching the final 50,” Varkey Foundation and Global Teacher Prize founder Sunny Varkey said in a prepared statement. “I hope their stories inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and highlights the incredible work teachers do all over the world every day.”

For more information on the prize and program, visit