Islip High School honored 13 seniors for earning the New York State Seal of Biliteracy during a ceremony held in the middle school cafeteria on June 1. This was the fifth year that Islip has bestowed this prestigious honor, which recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages in addition to English. The Seal will be affixed to each student’s diploma and high school transcript.
Richard Castronova, Carolyn Do and Angela Padilla Crespo earned the Seal of Biliteracy in Italian, while Sarah Alvarez, Lilian Arriaza Alonzo, Stephanie Castro, Joyce Johnson, Anthony Lopez, Juliana Marconi, Adriana Montecinos, Desiree Pagan, Justin Rhodes and Brianna Zavala earned the Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish. In addition, juniors Daiana Fuentes Velasquez and Juan Pantaleon were recognized as Seal of Biliteracy candidates demonstrating proficiency in Spanish.
The ceremony was led by Seal of Biliteracy advisers Sarah Ito, Karen Maisano and Giuseppa Prainito. Certificates were awarded by Board of Education President Philip Dineen and Superintendent Dr. Dennis O’Hara, who praised the students as role models for the entire district.
“Our students have completed rigorous work requirements in English and a world language,” World Language and ENL Coordinator Rabia Hirji said. “They have also successfully presented culminating projects in Spanish or Italian, demonstrating proficiency. The Seal of Biliteracy acknowledges their hard work and determination to learn another language and become bilingual and biliterate is today’s global society. What our students have earned today is not only an award, but to truly communicate and connect with other people who speak the same language. Learning a new language immerses you into a new way of life, new culture and new human connection. Today, some of our students will share with you what being biliterate means to them and the value it represents in their education and future. All of the students’ culminating projects represented a combination of heritage, culture and language of that particular society. I had the privilege to see some of the presentations and witnessed the hard work, effort and courage our students showed during the presentations to the Biliteracy Committee.”