Remembering Alla Bogomolnaya

This site is dedicated to the memory of Alla Bogomolnaya who was a beloved high school math teacher for over 30 years and an adored mother of two. She passed away on May 11, 2012, at the age of 55, after a difficult battle with signet ring adenocarcinoma of the colon.

Alla was born in 1956 near Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine. As a child and teenager, she excelled academically. Her achievements earned her a spot at a top math magnet school and, later, at the prestigious Kiev State University, a nearly impossible feat for a Jewish person in the Soviet Union at the time. In 1979, Alla's son, Eugene, was born. Her daughter, Ellen, followed in 1986. Alla doted on her two children and always made them her top priority.

In 1989, Alla emigrated from the Soviet Union with her family. Her journey brought her through Austria and Italy, and in 1990 she finally settled in Brooklyn, NY. Alla was immediately offered a teaching job and rapidly moved up in New York City's educational world. She managed to raise two children while learning English, finishing her Master's degree in Applied Mathematics, and working three jobs. She earned a spot as a mathematics teacher at Park East Day School and eventually at Ramaz Upper School, an institution widely hailed as one of the top private schools in the area. In 1996, Alla met her second husband, Mikhail, and decided to join him in Cleveland, OH. In Cleveland, she also found her second professional love (after Ramaz), landing a job at Orange High School, where she rapidly became an indispensable part of the mathematics department.

Alla very much enjoyed living in Cleveland after the hustle and bustle of New York City. She had her third child with her husband Mikhail in 2002, a Tibetan Spaniel with a very furry tail, named Daisy. Her students and her work at Orange brought her an immense amount of joy. As she cultivated her unique teaching style, many hundreds of students reflected on their love for Mrs. B. Her achievements, especially those in the teaching of AP Statistics, differentiated Alla as one of the leading educators in the region and garnered tremendous respect and admiration from her colleagues and students.

On January 24th, 2011, Alla was diagnosed with stage IIIC colon cancer and underwent surgery to remove nearly half of her large intestine. Alla's commitment to her students did not abate even in this difficult time. She returned to work two weeks after her surgery, four weeks early, because she was so intent on fulfilling her commitment to her students. Alla amazed her family, coworkers, and staff, and continued her teaching, missing only a few days of school during six months of intensive chemotherapy. Her sacrifice was plain in how she carried out her commitment to her work during this difficult time. Alla continued to show her commitment to and love for the students of Orange High School by continuing to teach until a month before her death, when her disease made it physically impossible for her to get out of bed.

Alla's legacy at Orange was highlighted in a post made on the Orange School District website, in the wonderful tribute video made by her students, and in a memorial post after her death. The Orange Outlook published a touching article honoring Alla's memory. Her memory was honored in obituaries printed in a number of newspapers, including the Cleveland Jewish News, the Plain Dealer, and the New York Times. Alla's friends and colleagues posted many touching messages on her "feel better" page, and on her funeral guestbook. Alla was honored posthumously at the 2012 annual Orange Schools convocation - there is a blog post and articles in the Cleveland Jewish News (direct link) and the 
Chagrin Valley Times (direct link) about the event. In August 2012, the Lander Circle Kiwanis recognized Alla's contribution to the Orange community during the Staff Members of the Year award ceremony.

On March 1st, 2013, Alla's students and colleagues at Orange High School came together to commemorate her legacy with a wonderful Talent Show, with proceeds donated to the Alla Bogomonaya Fund for Colon Cancer Research. A video of the show can be found here, and an article about it in the Chagrin Valley Times is here. The Talent Show was again held in 2014, with proceeds again generously donated to the fund.

The Seidman Cancer Center of University Hospitals is currently working with the Bogomolnaya family to raise funds in order to investigate prevention and treatment techniques for signet ring colon cancers. Please click here to make a tax deductible contribution. With the help of those in the community who have been affected by this devastating type of cancer, we can truly make a difference by providing hope for these families through funding of the prevention and treatment of this disease.
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Eugene Weinstein,
Nov 30, 2014, 2:55 PM
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Eugene Weinstein,
Nov 10, 2012, 10:27 AM
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Eugene Weinstein,
Jun 9, 2012, 8:19 PM
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Eugene Weinstein,
Jan 24, 2015, 1:53 PM
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Eugene Weinstein,
Jan 24, 2015, 1:53 PM
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Eugene Weinstein,
Nov 30, 2014, 2:57 PM
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Eugene Weinstein,
Jul 13, 2013, 1:58 PM
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Eugene Weinstein,
Jun 9, 2012, 3:58 PM
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