February 24 marked the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Our ex-school leaver Kyryl Myronenko, who finished First City Gymnasia in 2021, was among the students who represent Ukraine. So far he is studying at School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. As Dean Joel Hellman stated, exactly one year ago, a town hall was hosted in the ICC Galleria recognizing the start of the war. SFS gathered again as a community in the Galleria to acknowledge the resilience of the Ukrainian people and reflect on the past year of the conflict. SFS’ Ukrainian students — among them, Kyryl Myronenko (SFS'26), Iryna Tiasko (SFS'23), Iryna Adam (SSP'26), Ruslana Kochmar (MSFS'23) and Juliana Kogan (MASIA'23) — shared reflections on the personal impact of the war, how Ukraine’s struggle would be remembered in history and their hopes for a resolution. Georgetown’s Chamber Singers gave their rendition of Bozhe Velykyi (Prayer for Ukraine) before Deacon Peter Mansour closed the event with a prayer.
As it was stated on the site of Cherkasy Regional Institute of Postgraduate Education of Teachers, the collection of articles by the FCG teachers under the title of “Modern Experience of International Partnership Relations in the Polylingual Gymnasia in Time of Current Challenges” was awarded with the GOLD MEDAL in the XIII International Exhibition “Modern Educational Establishments-2022” which took place in Kyiv. For the last five years our gymnasia has had an honour of participating and winning the highest award in this prestigious exhibition among multiple educational establishments of Ukraine.
This year's graduate Kyryl Myronenko, who entered Georgetown University https://www.georgetown.edu, Washington, USA, had the honor of being invited to the United States Capitol. Having such meetings with graduates from this university who work in the Capitol is a traditional event. This year, four current students of this prestigious higher educational establishment were invited to the annual event. Kyryl Myronenko was invited as a scholarship holder from Ukraine, and was given an opportunity to address the congressmen, senators and Speaker Pelosi with a speech during which he thanked the American people for supporting Ukraine. Kyryl said that he had an opportunity to talk to many people there, and they all firmly believe in the victory of Ukraine and the complete restoration of the territorial integrity of the country.
On 24th February 2022 Russia began a slaughterous war against our country.
According to the statistics 303 students out of 720 were forced to flee
from Ukraine and had to continue their studies and receive knowledge in
many different schools outside our country.
Thank you for providing a shelter and a safe place to our children. I am
confident that Ukraine will win and that our students will return back to
Cherkasy, their home. We know that we will always remember your care and
protection that you showed towards the externally displaced people of our
May peace and goodness be with you!
Principal of First City Gymnasia, Cherkasy, Ukraine
My fingers are sore from the cold; my coat is soaked with rain. I am clinging to the blue stripe of the flag, trying to stay grounded, keeping my thoughts under control. But they scatter. I am staring blankly at people who prepare for the approaching march, while the white noise from their excitement fills my ears.
Main street is busy during lunchtime. Some, hurried by the rain, throw a quick look at us, before disappearing in the warmth of a cafe. Some stop and scrutinize our procession. Do we look silly? Threatening? Or, perhaps, miserable? Curious, I survey the gathering. Ordinary people with extraordinary hearts—they answered to the plea in the local magazine to join the march.
“Let’s go!” someone cries out, impatient to start moving.
For almost a year our Gymnasia has been taking part in Project Speak Together, which proved to be very successful. The aim of this English language project is to have a weekly communication with teenagers from different cities of California, learning the language and building friendly relationships. This project is appreciated by both sides a lot. A couple days ago a letter from one of the Speak Together tutors was received. The young teenager raised 200 US dollars and has a desire to donate the money to our Gymnasia. This is his letter:
What is FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange Program)? One goes to the United States for an academic year, lives with a host family, attends a local high school, and, basically, gets to know the culture and live the American life. The program covers everything.
The first guest of the Exchange Me podcast, FLEX alumnus Vitalii Deputat shares how much the exchange program changed him and how he immigrated to Canada.
Vitalii took part in the program back in 2001, going to Denver, Colorado, and studying at Chatfield High School. He’s a media buyer by profession and, as he calls himself, an immigrant by accident.
The twelfth international exhibition "Modern Educational Institutions" and the exhibition of the education abroad "World Edu" http://www.vsosvita.com.ua were being held from May 26 to May 28 in the Kyiv Palace of Sports.
They were organized and conducted by the Exhibition World Company with the informational, methodological, and organizational support of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine, the State Scientific Institution "Institute for Modernization of Educational Content".
It has been 6 years of fruitful cooperation of International University LCC, Klaipeda, Lithuania with First
Сity Gymnasia of Cherkasy that lasts within the framework of the scientific-methodical program "The
Dialogue of Cultures". LCC International University is a state and international Christian Liberal Arts
university, established by a joint venture of Lithuanian, Canadian and American foundations in 1991. LCC
International University is a permanent partner of our Gymnasia.
Thus, in mid-February, virtual presentations were organized to introduce studies at LCC to the potential
students, currently 10th graders of our gymnasia who are thinking about their future university
education. Lidiya Oryshchuk, Senior Admissions Counselor of LCC International University, recounted
high school students the rules of admission and studies in LCC International University, which has
proven to be a unique, innovative, interactive learning center, a leading Christian liberal arts university
in Europe, renowned for its flourishing academic community, spiritual vitality, and global impact.
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has appointed Oleksandr Skichko head of the Cherkasy Regional State Administration. The relevant decree №38 / 2021 of January 29 was published on the President's website.
"To appoint Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Skichko as the head of the Cherkasy Regional State Administration," the decree reads.
Skichko, 29, is the youngest politician to be appointed for this high post. At his time, Alexander finished our gymnasia with a Gold Medal.
A new Ukrainian-Polish initiative, the point of which is to create a cartoon Christmas card, kicks off today. The participants from both countries will attend a number of master's classes, during which they will learn to make a short cartoon-greeting.
The project is a part of the international cooperation and promotion of Bydgoszcz, Poland. Its organizer is "Slavos - the Slavic workshop of culture and dialogue". The offer came to us from the chairman of this organization and an old friend of our school Rafal Marzynkowsky.
A few years ago, FCG and the Polish Society "Slavos" implemented the theatrical project, which then turned into an international event.
On November 12 - the day of the 140th anniversary of the gymnasia, the solemn enthronement of the Queen of the First City Gymnasia Sofia Shipovych took place. The ceremony was held in the presence of honorary guests: the director of the gymnasiua Serhiy Ivanovych Sayenko and the ombudsman of the gymnasia, the Honorary Teacher of Ukraine Valery Anatoliyovych Silenko - the latter solemnly proclaimed Sophia the Gymnasia Queen. During the ceremony, a stamp with the image of the newly elected Queen of the FCG (made by Ukrposhta on a special order) was presented to her. After her dedication, Her Majesty addressed her subjects, the students of grades 1 - 5. Afterwards, she personally visited each class and congratulated all students on the holiday.
The Queen has now fully assumed her powers, which include chairing the social and legal committee of the Gymnasia Parliament, coordinating the school charitable and the work of the Royal Post Office, as well as taking an active part in all gymnasia social events.
On April 16, at the initiative of the Office of the State Service for Quality of Education in the Cherkasy region http://sqe.gov.ua/index.php/en-us/upravlinnia-derzhavnoi-sluzhby-iakosti-osvity-u-cherkaskii-oblasty the conference dedicated to the topic "Let's talk about the organization of distance learning" was conducted and presided over by the Head of the Department Oksana Anatoliyivna Kompaniets. The chairman of the Education Department of the Cherkasy Board of Education and Humanitarian Policy of the City Council E. P. Stepko, our gymnasia principal S. I. Sayenko, school #32 principal I. Y. Ovcharenko, as well as teachers from several Cherkasy schools actively practicing distance learning were invited to participate in the conference. For an hour and a half, the ZOOM platform brought together the educators to discuss an extremely urgent issue - organizing distance learning for students during a lengthy quarantine period. A meaningful and substantive conversation took place between the participants of the conference. They spoke about distance learning in terms of its experiences, risks, challenges, and achievements. Our principal even called the process a major educational revolution that could dramatically change the classroom system practiced in most countries of the world. He spoke about the experience that our teachers have gained while using Google-Classroom or communicating with students and their parents via the Oshkola project among other positive results. The conference participants emphasized that education needs to be reformed more vigorously to meet the challenges of the time and Ukraine has an opportunity to place itself among the world leaders in implementing the aforesaid innovations.
From February 24 to 29 our students are enjoying the intermediary winter vacations. The decision to have an additional vacation period in the end of February was made in October in agreement with the parents of the students of all classes (confirmed during the teacher-parent meetings) and the board of the FCG as well as approved by the relevant order of the gymnasia principal. This work schedule is FCG-specific only, the rest of Cherkasy schools are studying during this time. The resolution to have the intermediary vacations was driven by the fact that the FCG had only one week of New Year holidays. Thus, to conform to the letter of law which reads that the number of mandatory vacation days in Ukrainian schools should be 30 (except summer holidays), the FCG is on holidays now. You can see the school's plan of work for the vacations on our website in the section ANNOUNCEMENTS.
Of course, while the majority of the students are resting, all teachers and support staff are 'in the thick of the battle' at work. The food service unit will be repaired by the school technicians (at the instruction of the State Consumer Service), and teachers will hold a council, and take part in a training organized by the Cherkasy Medical Academy among other events. A large group of high school students are spending their vacations with use taking language courses in England under the supervision of the English teacher A.O. Ukhan (in the photo)
On January 13th, our gymnasia hosted the first stage of the International Public Speaking Contest, which is sponsored and supported by LCC International University in Klaipeda, Lithuania. This year, the students of grades 10-11 were offered the topic “Great Leadership and the Power of Self-interest”. The winner of it is a grade 11A student Anastasia Shpak, taught by Y. K. Pais, who will represent our school at the regional stage of the competition on February 18, 2020. This year the contest is held in 8 countries: Ukraine, Armenia, Albania, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia and Georgia. The winner from each country will receive a ticket and will be eligible for 3-week intensive English language course worth 600 euro at the English Language Institute in Klaipeda. We wish Anastasia such confident victory at the next stage as well!
For three years in a row now, our educational institution has maintained partnership with the 503rd Marine Corps Battalion in Mariupol. The cooperation began with the regular visits of the gymnasia's traditional festive events by the military unit commanders and deepened in 2018-2019. Several students from our school have even gone through combat training at the marine corps base and received the right to wear their berets.
Today, the Battalion officers occasionally come to assist the teacher of the Fatherland Defense course in conducting his classes and bringing them closer to reality. In addition to that, three times a year, gymnasia students gather and send the marine corps soldiers various goodies and small gifts for the holidays.
At the beginning of December 2019, the command of the military unit honored our input by inviting a delegation from the gymnasia to participate in the traditional officer's ball, which has been held since 2017.
On December 18, the official reception of partner schools and non-governmental educational institutions cooperating with the Cambridge University of Testology "Cambridge Assessment English" took place in Kyiv. Our Principal S.I. Sayenko was present at this extremely solemn event.
One of the important factors of the high school student's performance is obtaining an international language certificate, which acknowledges the level of command of a foreign language and is recognized all over the world.