09 May 2008 ORT teacher named the best in Russia ORTs outstanding performance in the Former Soviet Union continues to attract accolades this time it is the presentation of the Presidents Prize to Gregory Vodopyan, the Deputy Principal of the ORT de Gunzburg School in St Petersburg. Mr Vodopyan, who teaches physics, is the third teacher at de Gunzburg in as many years who have been deemed by judges to lead the country in their use of modern technology, their ability to communicate knowledge, and in their students academic results. Olga Tuzova won the prize in 2006 and Irina Lukina won last year. Last month, the ORT Jerusalem School in St Petersburg won Russias highest award for innovation and excellence in education (won last year by ORT de Gunzburg) and the Moscow ORT Technology College won a 58 million-Ruble grant, effectively recognising it as one of the best educational institutions in the country. Although I received this award personally, its definitely recognition of the results of the whole school and the efforts and skill of all the staff in modernising the school, said Mr Vodopyan (pictured). This will bring a new level of prestige and recognition to my school, which is very important in a city as big as St Petersburg that has such a long history of cultural achievement. As a result my school will become even more competitive. Vladimir Dribinskiy, the Head of World ORTs Coordination Department, said the award had confirmed Mr Vodopyans position in the professional elite. There is no doubt that Gregory is amongst the best of the best. He is a born teacher, charismatic, with an enviable ability to build a team around him. Students love him, Mr Dribinskiy said. He is also unusually adventurous; a visionary who is keen to experiment with the latest technologies that World ORT can provide him. With typical modesty, Mr Vodopyan, 50, said he did not care whether he was in the elite. I just want to do my job properly, he said. However, Mr Dribinskiy said Mr Vodopyans expertise as an educator and an administrator made him a highly valuable asset to ORTs operations in Russia. Gregory is the pivotal member of ORTs expert team assessing progress in the implementation of a World Bank-funded programme to increase the use of ICT in Russias education system, he said. He is very much as the top of his profession. It is Mr Vodopyan who developed the mathematical model used to assess the effectiveness of ICT implementation both in individual schools and in the education system as a whole. Avi Ganon, World ORTs Representative in Russia, Belarus and Central Asia, said: All of us congratulate Gregory on this well deserved recognition of his extraordinary contribution to education. It is also worth noting that this is the latest success resulting from World ORTs investment in human resource development, which is an integral part of our activities in the countries of the Former Soviet Union.