- Brockport High School
23 BHS students to earn Seal of Biliteracy
Twenty-three students from Brockport High School (BHS) are on track to receive their Seal of Biliteracy when they cross the stage at graduation June 23.
According to Seal of Biliteracy Coordinator and World Languages Chairperson Marlea Bahantka, this is the highest number of students to graduate through the program.
“Our mission as a department is to inspire students to communicate through an appreciation of languages and cultures, enabling them to be respectful and confident citizens in a rapidly changing world,” Bahantka said. “Being able to communicate effectively with a larger, diverse global community is a major skill that students will be able to use to build relationships or use in their careers, long after their time at Brockport High School.”
In order to obtain their seals, students were tasked with completing a research project, presenting their research in front of a panel, and completing written essay.
"This is a unique accomplishment in our school and something we all should be proud of," BHS Principal Michael Pincelli said. "This achievement exemplifies the dedication of these students to their personal growth and supports their membership in diverse and global communities."
According to BHS Instructional Coach Jennifer Cropo, this is more than just another accolade to celebrate during graduation, it’s a skill that will make our students more marketable in a quickly changing world.
“You don’t need to just be able to talk to your neighbor anymore,” Cropo said. “Anyone planning on going into a career these days will be more employable if they can speak to a more diverse audience and this program helps students expand their world view past Brockport, broadening their horizons.”
The Seal of Biliteracy program was first piloted in 2019 with just one student earning their seal that year. Since then, four students have gone on to earn their seal in 2020, five in 2021, and 10 in 2022.
“These students have worked hard over their high school career to attain the seal of biliteracy,” Orlando Benzan, Brockport Diverse, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator and BHS Assistant Principal, said. “Beyond the challenge of learning a new language, these students attained this skill during COVID, and the challenges posed by the pandemic.”
Four years later, this group of twenty-three seniors will be the largest class to receive the seal on their diploma and medallion at graduation. This will also be the first class where three of those students will be earning double seals, having picked up a tertiary language as well.
“We have students who are not only earning and attaining a seal in French or Spanish,” Benzan explained. “They also attained a seal in their native language."
Those languages include Hungarian, Mandarin and Russian.
“Ease of communication is a major skill all these students will be able to take with them as they begin to face a world that’s more globally connected,” Cropo said. “While English is the dominant language, their ability to communicate and comprehend will help them learn linguistic undertones so they can better navigate through life.”
The following students will be earning their seals at graduation (*denotes a double seal):
Adam Kwiatkowski *
Eileena Frey *
Maggice Chen *
Aidan Mayes Poduslo
Joeliz Nogueras Gonzalez
Congratulations to everyone who will be earning the Seal of Biliteracy this June.
For more information on the District’s program, please visit our website here.