A school teacher from the U.K. has won a highly-competitive $1 million prize that honors one exceptional teacher a year who's made a significant contribution to the profession.

Andria Zafirakou beat out some 30,000 applicants from around the world. The Alperton Community School teacher was awarded for her work in the London borough of Brent, one of the most ethnically diverse places in the country. Her students come from some of the poorest families in Britain with parents who don't necessarily speak English.

She was awarded the annual Global Teacher Prize during a star-studded ceremony in Dubai on Sunday hosted by Trevor Noah of the "Daily Show".

Last year, Canadian teacher Maggie MacDonnell won the prize for her work with Inuit indigenous students in a remote and isolated Arctic village.