Two faculty members at the Brooklyn Friends School were honored this year with prestigious national awards, adding more accolades to the already-illustrious institution.
Both BFS staffers Frank Cabrera and Vlad Malukoff received their respective accolades in their respective fields — with the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools praising Cabrera, and the University of Chicago hailing Malukoff’s work.
“I was in total shock,” Cabrera said.
Cabrera — the school’s new director of college counseling — received ACCIS’ inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Champion Award, which is given to those who demonstrate a deep commitment to giving a voice to those who have historically been silenced.
“We feel blessed to have Frank within our community,” said Brooklyn Friends Head of School Crissy Cáceres. “In his interview process, Frank named in various ways the core nature of social justice work in his life. He had concrete examples of his immersion in DEI work both within the world of college counseling and beyond. As such, this well-deserved award makes all the sense in the world.”
Cabrera added his thanks, saying he hoped the award would help spotlight some of the overlooked initiatives the school has undertaken.
“I am on the DE&I committee for ACCIS and one of our new initiatives is to recognize both newer and seasoned college counselors who have demonstrated a deep commitment to DE&I work,” Cabrera said. “I was really excited to shine the spotlight on the incredible work so many within our membership are engaged in. So when I heard my name as one of the two honorees, I was floored.”
Meanwhile, Vlad Malukoff, who has taught history at Brooklyn Friends for the past 23 years, was honored as an Outstanding Educator by the University of Chicago — which comes as unsurprising news to his colleagues at BFS.
“I heard present students, as well as alumni, talk about Vlad and the impact he had had on them long before I met him,” said Brooklyn Friends Head of Upper School Kamaya Prince Thompson “What I noticed the first time I met him was his energy, love, and belief in the potential and ability of each student. This is why he is a legend in the eyes of his students. He teaches with his whole heart. He is a gem.”
Malukoff was nominated as an “Outstanding Educator” by a Brooklyn Friends alum, who is a member of the University of Chicago’s Class of 2025, as one of thousands nominated for positively impacting students’ lives.
The teacher used the nomination to reflect on the past 23 years, hailing his students as the reason for his ongoing passion for education.
“I can’t believe it, but I have been here since 1998 and I started here the same week that I got married for the second time, so it’s easy to remember both dates,” Malukoff said. “I have even more passion now for teaching in a way because I’m more confident. I’ve been very fortunate. When you see a student who develops an interest in what you are teaching, that’s the most rewarding thing.”