Lusine Jhangiryan

Secondary School Number 18, Achinsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia

Lusine  Jhangiryan

Born in Armenia, Lusine originally studied Journalism while earning extra money by teaching English privately. Soon, however, this experience made her realise that she could have a positive impact on people’s lives, and teaching became her passion. Though she was able to find work in pre-school education, the lack of full teaching jobs in Armenia at that time meant that Lusine and her family had to move to Russia, where teachers were in greater demand.

In her first teaching job, she discovered that students constantly struggled to learn English as a foreign language because they had little opportunity to use it in their everyday lives. Lusine found that the answer to this conundrum was to connect her students to English-speaking communities around the world to see what they were missing. Despite initially modest facilities, she arranged online projects, Skype lessons, and cultural exchanges with other countries. When her students’ achievements received a boost as a result, the school’s administration gave her better facilities and equipment, even though the ideas of global education and sustainable development were not popular in Russia at the time.

After visiting the “World Ready?” Global Education conference in the United States, Lusine was inspired to take the concept of global education beyond her school to the wider local region – a move that she feels is her biggest contribution to date. Using the Pen Pal Schools portal, which allows connection to classes in 140 countries, her students are now involved in co-operative research and discussion of issues such as global warming, environmental pollution, interracial equality and living in multicultural communities. Technology is helping students become digital citizens who participate fully in public and political life.

Subsequently, Lusine has launched the Schools Around the World project, which connects a significant number of teachers and students from different continents. She also started sharing her experiences by teaching educators about how global education and innovative technologies can change classrooms. Thanks to her hard work, her school has now been recognised as one of the 100 best schools in Russia, with her students winning numerous awards. Lusine’s own work has also been acknowledged by a number of organisations. In 2016 she became the first National Geographic Certified Educator in Russia; in 2018 she became the Global Ambassador of the Pen Pal Schools Organization, and was also selected as a winner of the E-Innovation Global Awards in India. Most recently, she was appointed a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert in 2019. 

With the Global Teacher Prize funds, Lusine would build a Science Club of Discoveries and Inventions in her community to promote children’s intellectual development and get them interested in STEM. The club will create a space where children can take their first steps in the field of inventions, gaining knowledge and putting it into practice. The prize funding would also help create a chain of labs to provide scientific education in the long term to students around the city and in nearby villages.