Bronx teacher wins $100,000 for her school in contest

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A Bronx teacher who is raising a family and battling cancer has won $100,000 for her school, in part through a contest for inspirational teachers.

Nicole Conlisk, 33, won the money for One World Middle School in part through a Norwegian Cruise Line contest. The cruise line launched a campaign to show its appreciation for educators by giving away free cruises to inspirational teachers ahead of Teacher Appreciation Week.

Conlisk's Stage 3 breast cancer forced her to step away from teaching, and she gave birth to her daughters, Peyton and Jordyn, while being treated for the disease. She was diagnosed seven months into her pregnancy. She and her husband, a New York City fire captain, also have a son named Jason.

Last Friday, the Bronx teacher was presented with a $25,000 check for her school and a free cruise after winning the top prize in the Norwegian Cruise Line contest. Four million people had cast ballots with the most inspiring story.

After hearing about Conlisk's story, other donors stepped up, raising an additional $75,000 for One World Middle School.

"If you touch one, two, three lives, it's worth it in your career. And just to see the outpouring of support for me -- I didn't realize I touched or impacted so many people, so it was really touching," Conlisk says.

The teacher says learning outside of the classroom is just as important as learning inside, which is why she wants to see the money go toward arts and sports programs at her school.

Conlisk plans on returning to school in September after she undergoes surgery and more chemotherapy.


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