Ivan Nikolov Momchilov

ivan momchilov   He was born on October 19, 1819 (old style) in Elena. He grew up as a talented student of Andrei Robovski. Sent by his father to study in a Greek school in Tarnovo, he is soon sent off because of his daring deed-in. He reads the Apostle during his service in Church-Slavonic instead of Greek. Robovski takes him as a teacher-assistant in his school.
    In 1837 he goes to study at a Greek teacher and philosopher Teofil Kairis on Andros island. He graduates Second High school in Athens, where Bavarian professors teach, called for teachers by the Greek king. Panelin spirit which was spread in Greek schools has a positive effect for kindling patriotism of the youth and his participation in secret Slavo-Bulgarian company.
    Advised by Ilarion he continued his education in Russia. Due to illness he studied just for a year in Odessa Theological Seminary (1842-1843).
    In the established educational traditions and rich prepared ground Ivan Momchilov set up the First class schools in Elena in 1844, called Daskalolivnitsa by his student P. R. Slaveikov. The school was developed following a Russian model, there are introduced items such as these in Odessa Seminary conformed to our terms. Students studied mainly humanities, including psychology and logics without underestimating the natural subjects. Some foreign languages were introduced.
    Inspired by the democratic idea the training to be conducted in the native language Momchilov taught pure Bulgarian. He diversifies his work and strives to approach it to real life. Some of the lessons in geography, history and hygiene he reads outside the classroom.
   With notorious hardworking on Sundays he produces visual funds: reading tables of Bulgarian letters about the composition of words, figures and tables with numbers of trained tasks on the four simple arithmetic and many others. With the help of Vasil Aprilov and charities he supplied school maps and globes from Odessa.
The young teacher establishes good order and discipline in the school. He introduces the ringing of a bell, which was a duty of students and chief dvernik. On his initiative was built a new building for a secondary school in 1844.
momchilov    Besides the introduction of new subjects he creates a rich school library, governs celebration of the school on the day of the Three Saints. Ivan Momchilov introduced as a school song poem Christodoulos S. Nikolov "Praise the ancient Bulgarians and their country." He talked to students about the work of Saints Cyril and Methodius, wrote Troparion (commendable track) for them, and in 1859 organized their first celebration in Elena.
    He refers to students with great respect. His natural appeal to them is “My dear " When the educator lacks knowledge system, he is looking for it in the sticks" - says Momchilov.
    The wise teacher put in the center of the educational work the love of the country "Love your country and never want and prefer another but your homeland." That love starts with learning and keeping the clearness of Bulgarian language. “From all the languages in the world prefer your fathers’ and mothers’ language, which you have heard and learned first from them. Momchilov understands what kind of strength the language of his parents has, a language which is a base for a high culture in the Past and which protects us from the attempts of foreign masters to enslave us spiritually. The strive for enriching the native language brings him to the huts of Elena, where he collects and records folk songs, riddles and stories that are featured in his books "Start reading".
    Ivan Momchilov and Nikola Mihailovski, graduated the University of Moscow, transform The First Class School in a kind of a Teachers` institute. In Daskalolivnitsa have studied famous writers of the Bulgarian national revival: P. R. Slaveikov, Dobri Chintulov, Dragan Cankov, Nikola Kozlev, Ivan Karshovski, Stoyan Robovski, Sava Katrafilov and many others.
    In 1859 Momchilov continues his action in Gorna Oriahovitsa, where he also establishes a Class School. He works as a teacher until 1864, but serves until the last moment of his life in this arena. He tours as an apostle in the cities and the villages of Turnovo, Nikopol, Rousse, Shumen, Razgrad, Varna, Kotel, Sliven, Yambol, Stara Zagora, Kazanlak and Gabrovo. At the meetings with the teachers and the students he gives effective advice directions, gets acquainted with the needs of schools.
momchilov plocha   From 1865 he devoted himself entirely to literary activity, and is one of the most prepared among his contemporaries. By his initiative in 1868 is established "Knigoprodavnitsa Momchilov & Co." in Tarnovo. He is an author and a compiler of many valuable books. For his first book "Pismenitsa Slavic language" (Belgrade, 1847) are recorded 1100 sponsors. It imposes profits with a great reputation after the Liberation "Grammar of Modern English" considered as "a perfect book." Momchilov and N. Mihailovsky translated and published together "story through the history and folk tales."

While printing books in Vienna - modest and tireless Ivan Nikolov Momchilov, founder of The Daskalolivnitsa in Elena got ill and after his return to Gorna Oriahovitsa died on December 8, 1869.