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Humboldt County Office of Education: Eighth Annual Seal of Biliteracy Honors Graduating Seniors

Eighth Annual Seal of Biliteracy Honors Graduating Seniors

The eighth annual California Seal of Biliteracy Award Program premiered on May 28, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. on the Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE) website.

This event started in 2012-13 and this year recognizes and celebrates 130 graduating high school seniors from ten schools in Humboldt County.

“Humboldt County is used to setting records with the number of students receiving the seal and the number continues to rise each year,” states Humboldt County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Chris Hartley. “However, this year is significant in that each student’s achievement represents acts of determination, resiliency, innovation and collaboration for finding ways to finish this process despite our current challenges we are facing as a community.”

These students achieved a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in at least two languages, one of which is English.

Students who are certified to have the Seal added to their high school diplomas meet rigorous criteria in both English and at least one other language, including grades, written essays, and comprehensive interviews conducted by HSU Department of World Languages and Cultures professors, high school world language teachers and community members, among other requirements.

The awards program includes remarks from Seal Coordinator and HCOE Learning Specialist, Agustín Amaro and Humboldt County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Chris Hartley. In addition, four students offer their personal reflections of what it means to be bilingual. Student presenters include Juan Nikolas Engel, Northcoast Preparatory Academy; Maya Hergenrader, Northcoast Preparatory Academy; Cameron Saso, McKinleyville High School; and Jemmielee Mia, Eureka High School.

“Through your study of languages, you now possess the augmented super-power of multi-literacy and multilingualism,” states Amaro in a message to students. “A multiliterate individual will find that they are now in better position to see, feel, hear and think and talk about the world.”

The Seal of Biliteracy is recognized as a valuable asset for employment, college admission, cultural identity, and personal growth. The program is sponsored by the Humboldt County Office of Education, in partnership with Humboldt State University and in collaboration with each school counselor and language educators.

“Congratulations to each student for this incredible achievement and my tremendous gratitude to all the schools, community partners and judges for ensuing these students had the opportunity to stay the course through the entire process of earning their Seal of Biliteracy,” states Hartley.

For more information, please contact HCOE Learning Specialist and coordinator Agustín Amaro, at (707) 502-4343 or aamaro@hcoe.org.