November 15, 2018
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Maine teacher who won $1 million to be sentenced for shoplifting

Courtesy of Nancie Atwell
Courtesy of Nancie Atwell
Nancie Atwell

WISCASSET, Maine — The founder of an Edgecomb school who in 2015 won a $1 million Global Teacher Prize will be sentenced Nov. 5 on seven counts of misdemeanor theft.

Nancie M. Atwell, 67, of Southport pleaded guilty to shoplifting on six separate occasions, all while on a deferred disposition for a previous theft, according to court documents.

As a result, she will be sentenced Nov. 5 in Wiscasset District Court for all seven counts, District Attorney Jonathan Liberman said Friday.

In June 2016, Atwell pleaded guilty to stealing a $14.99 blouse off a hanger from Renys in Damariscotta. If she committed no further crimes for two years, the charges would have been dismissed.

Under terms of a plea agreement, Atwell was required to commit no further crimes for two years, undergo a psychological evaluation, complete 100 hours of community service and prove that she is donating the $1 million prize money to the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Had that happened, the charge would have been dismissed in June 2018.

But Atwell subsequently shoplifted dog treats, a dog leash and a pot of mums, among other items, from Ames True Value in Wiscasset on six occasions in September and October 2017. She pleaded guilty to the charges, according to court documents.

Atwell founded the Center for Teaching and Learning in 1990 and has written numerous books about education methods. In March 2015, she traveled to Dubai to accept what is known as the “Nobel Prize of teaching.”

Atwell’s attorney, Richard Berne, did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday.

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