BAYSIDE, QUEENS — A Bayside High School teacher received a prestigious award this month for her work on providing academic and emotional support to Ukrainian students amid the Russian invasion.
Larisa Bukalov, who teaches math at Bayside High School, was awarded the 2023 MƒA Muller Award for Professional Influence in Education after her work as a liaison between the Mathematical Association of America and Ukrainian institutions.
Bukalov was awarded $20,000 during a ceremony earlier this month, and another $5,000 was given to Bayside High School.
The high school teacher was born in the USSR, and she graduated from a specialized math school in Ukraine and a distance learning school at Moscow State University.
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She emigrated to the U.S., where she learned English while earning a bachelor’s degree in math and master’s degree in math education from Queens College, CUNY.
“As a first-generation American, I had personal experience struggling in school because I wasn’t proficient in English,” Bukalov said. “By working with colleagues at institutions like Bayside High School, Queens College, and MƒA, I have learned that incorporating literacy and language teaching methods in our mathematics classrooms provides better support to all students and alleviates their math anxiety.”
As a liaison for the Mathematical Association of America, she collaborates with university professors from Kiev State University and the Ukrainian Ministry of Education to help educate Ukrainian teachers on best practices to foster equity in the classroom and has provided academic, social, and emotional support to Ukrainian students.
She won the award along with Ellie Williamson, who teaches at the Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction in Manhattan.