NORTH COUNTRY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Local high-school seniors have received a state honor for their advanced bilingual skills.

According to Jefferson-Lewis BOCES, 24 local students have demonstrated their proficiency in communicating through a second language and have earned the New York State Seal of Biliteracy. The honor recognizes high school graduates who have attained and can demonstrate a high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages.

The Seal of Biliteracy is offered by Jefferson-Lewis BOCES and the State Seal of Biliteracy Consortium. The
Consortium is a partnership between programs at BOCES as well as departments and programs associated with New York State.

The purpose of the NYSSB is to encourage the study of languages, identify high school graduates
with language and biliteracy skills for employers, provide universities with additional information about
applicants seeking admission, and prepare students for twenty-first-century skills. It also aims to recognize the value of foreign and native language instruction in schools and affirm the value of diversity in a multilingual society.

Final presentations by participating students took place virtually from May 25 through June 2. Each student presented before a panel of judges made up of foreign language instructors, community members, and fluent speakers in the business world. The presentation focused on what the student had learned culturally during the course of the project, all the while communicating in a second language.

Students who earned the Seal of Biliteracy received a virtual certificate and a medallion to wear during their high school graduation. The Seal of Biliteracy is placed on each student’s high school diploma upon graduation.

A list of the local students who received the honor and their school district is listed below. BOCES also provided what each student’s additional language was and the name of their presentation.

Belleville Henderson Central School
Laura Zehr, French, Language Education in the U.S. vs. France
Elizabeth Hyman, Spanish, Agriculture in the U.S. vs Guatemala

Carthage Central School
Jayden Brown, Spanish, Carlos Vives
Paige Soules, Spanish, Representations in Media
Rosalyn Towler, French, Les Bandes dessinees (Comic Books)
Devin Parlati, French, L’influence de la Cuisine Francaise autour du monde (The Influence of French Cuisine around the World)

Copenhagen Central School
Chase Aubin, Spanish. The Spanish Civil War

General Brown Central School
Natalie Sheen, Spanish, Dirty Dancing Havana Nights and Cuba History
Emily Parker, Spanish, Representations in the Media
Jacob King, Spanish, Aztecs
Daniel Hodge, Spanish, Racism in Puerto Rico
Natalie Favret, Spanish, Life and Housing in Costa Rica

Indian River Central School
Ashley Delgado, English, Immigration

Lyme Central School
Davi Harris, Spanish, Immigration
Rebecca Farrell, Korean, Korean Beauty Standards

Lowville Academy and Central School
Olivia Baker, Spanish, La Historia Secreta de América Latina: Operacion Condor (The Secret History of Latin
America: Operation Condor)

South Jefferson Central School
Alexa Doe, French, Cultural Expression
Tanner Weiler, French, Environmental Concerns
Charles Rogers, French, Automotive Cultures in France
Cameron Humphrey, French, Music and Musical Instruments
Abagail Keeney, French, Medical Innovation in France
Trevor Benware, French, L’industrie mortuaire (The Mortuary Industry)
Gracie Elliot, Spanish, Mariachi
Michael Jareo, Spanish, Empanadas