Washingtonville High School seniors, Madison Brown, Jamelis German, Delimar Jimenez Rijo and Michaela Stack earned the New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) in Spanish, and were recognized for their achievement at the board of education meeting on Thursday, May 4.
“The Washingtonville school district is proud to offer the NY State Seal of Biliteracy,” said Lisa Alemany, chairperson for the world languages department. “The NYSSB encourages the study of language, prepares students with 21st-century skills and affirms the value of diversity in a multilingual society.”
The NYSSB recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in one or more world languages, in addition to English. To receive the NYSSB, students need to show proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in the target language. For their successful efforts, the students receive a medal and a state seal on their diplomas when they graduate.
“I want to help people who have a language barrier get the help they deserve,” said Delimar. Delimar wants to become a nurse, and discussed how her knowledge of multiple languages will help her communicate with people in the future.
Similarly, Madison wants to become a doctor and also spoke on how knowing multiple languages will help her patients communicate with her.
“I think it is really important to be bilingual,” said Madison. “It will help build trust between me and my future patients.”
“Being bi-literate has furthered my abilities to connect with people,” said Michaela.
Michaela is attending Quinnipiac University in the Fall where she will pursue her passion for teaching. Being bilingual, she attests that it will help her communicate with her future students and their families.
Jamelis is attending St. John’s University in the Fall and will be majoring in business with a pre-law track. She spoke about how knowing another language helps spread important messages and can help spread awareness.
“When you tell one person something, that person tells ten others and so on and so on.”