Yonkers High School Students Discuss the Russian Invasion of Ukraine with expert Oksana Kulynych

  • Living History

    Current events became more real and history came to life for high school students in the Yonkers Public Schools when speaker and educator Oksana Kulynych visited each of our high schools to discuss the Russian invasion of Ukraine during the month of March. Ms. Kulynych is a Yonkers resident, retired NYC teacher, and member of the U.S. Committee for Ukrainian Holodomor Genocide Awareness. She has made presentations to the district's high school students on the Holodomor - Famine Genocide of 1932-1933 for many years. However, with the recent invasion, Ms. Kulynych volunteered to speak to students, providing historical, geographical, and humanitarian perspectives. During each visit with history students, Ms. Kulynych used her PowerPoint presentation to illustrate the history and geography of the Ukraine as well as the culture of the people. The presentation captures Russian troop movements as they advance each day. She then opened the discussion up to the students, who asked many insightful questions.. Ms. Kulynych's presentations have been well-received by students, beginning with her first visit to the Global History classes at Palisade Prep. Social Studies Department Chairwoman Penny Arenas and her students have followed up the talk with a community drive to help the citizens of the Ukraine, as has our other high schools. "Freedom is not free," said Ms. Kulynych. 

    Biographical information: Oksana Kulynych is a Ukrainian-American born in New York City to parents who were refugees from what was then Soviet Ukraine during WWII. She is a retired educator, having worked in the New York City Department of Education for many years. She has served as the Director of the School of Ukrainian Studies for more than a decade. Ms. Kulynych has been an activist promoting awareness of the Holodomor - the famine genocide in Ukraine in 1932-33 and has served as the chairwoman for the New York State Holodomor Education Committee. She has organized workshops for teachers on the topic and presented at high schools, universities, and the National Council on Social Studies. Ms. Kulynych is a Yonkers resident.