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Orysya Romanivna Tsybukh-Petryshyn: bringing history and students alive with technology

Year: 2019 – Province: Manitoba

Certificate of Achievement Recipient

Orysya Romanivna Tsybukh-Petryshyn

History, grade 11
Sisler High School, Winnipeg, Manitoba

"Joining in different groups used to be one of my weaknesses but, because of Ms. Petryshyn, I am now able to tackle the challenges of participating in groups, while still focusing on my studies, which is a massive impact to make in my adult life."  — Former student

A trained musician, Orysya Petryshyn came to Canada from Ukraine in 1995 and decided to become a teacher. While continuing her education, she learned English. She now teaches largely second-generation Canadians and new arrivals, empathizing with their struggles and leading them to success.

Teaching approach

Orysya is very proud of her new country and seeks to instil that pride in her students, while sharing her Ukrainian heritage. She believes that education is the only way future generations will be able to maintain democracy and prevent tragedies such as genocides from happening again.

STEM In the classroom

  • Integrates technology into history class to bring it to life: in the very first unit in Manitoba on Ukraine's Holodomor Genocide, students collaborated with peers in the Interactive Digital Media and Networking and Cyber Security Academy programs to publish a book on this dark chapter in Ukrainian history, accompanied by a website and various digital media resources.
  • Brought the Holodomor Mobile Classroom Tour to the school to expose students and teachers to a state-of-the-art digital learning experience (in a bus); students spoke at the tour launch at the provincial legislature with the premier in attendance.
  • Integrates fine arts, music, audio and video with history: students created video interviews, commissioned artwork and wrote essays to explore the work and legacy of the school's namesake, and are building an online multimedia museum to house this work, along with historical documents and photographs of immigrant families homesteading in rural Manitoba in the 1920s.

Outstanding achievements

  • Spearheaded school's involvement in national Canada 150 and Me project: only school from division chosen to host students from across Canada for a week to explore the challenges and opportunities young Canadians face; two of her students won a competition to attend similar forums in Halifax and Montréal, and all students participated in a national event in Ottawa.
  • Under her guidance and coaching, numerous Sisler students come out on top in history-related competitions: for example, a Grade 11 History class placed first in Winnipeg on the Historica Canada Citizenship Challenge, with one student achieving a perfect score.
  • Leads WE Day and other school social justice activities, with students inspired to raise thousands of dollars for charity and receiving Governor General's Caring Awards for these and other efforts.

Get in touch!

Sisler High School
1360 Redwood Avenue
Winnipeg MB R2X 0Z1
Facebook: @Sislerhighschool

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