30+ Eagle Valley students receive Seal of Biliteracy

Hayley Bates, Reporter

This will be Eagle County School District’s fifth year of recognizing seniors graduating with the Seal of Biliteracy.

The Seal of Biliteracy honors students who are literate in multiple languages. There are many requirements like demonstrating academic abilities in English literacy, demonstrating academic abilities in other languages besides English, 20 hours of community service with half of it being in a language besides English, and passing an exit interview with a presentation and interview questions.

Eagle County School  District was one of the first three districts in Colorado to adopt the Seal of Biliteracy diploma recognition program. Jessica Martinez is the district’s Director of Multilingual Education and was instrumental in starting this program in the school district.

Seniors from the Class of 2016 wearing their Seal of Biliteracy medals at graduation.

“Me, someone in Denver public schools, and somebody in a similar role in Adams 14 heard the presentation about the Seal of Biliteracy, and we got super excited,” Martinez explains. “And the three of us were like, ‘yeah this is great, we would love to have this for our students.’”

The state of Colorado later adopted the Seal of Biliteracy Program for public schools after hearing what Martinez had started in Eagle County.

“Then a couple of Congressmen, if I remember correctly, heard about us,” Martinez said, “and got excited, and created the Seal of Biliteracy on a state level.”

Eva Labine ‘20 is one of the many Eagle County students receiving the seal this year.

“It was hard but fun,””

— Eva Labine, '20

“I think it’s valuable because, especially if you’re trying to get a job, people think that you can speak two languages,” Labine said , ”

especially Spanish so then you communicate with more people and help people.”

Ms. Libby Navarro is the AP Spanish Language and Culture teacher at Eagle Valley High School, and she is responsible for facilitating the Seal of Biliteracy program there.

“I think even the students who chose to just pursue it, who don’t meet all the criteria are also amazing,” Navarro reflected. “Choosing to pursue the seal and doing the work you need to do to meet the criteria really shows dedication and shows flexibility and perseverance as well”

So far, about 40 Eagle Valley High School seniors have passed the requirements and will graduate with the Seal of Biliteracy this year.

“They are a really great group of kids who even attempt for their seal and who really earn it, it’s just super impressive,” Navarro says.

 

Currently the list of Eagle Valley seniors graduating with the Seal of Biliteracy includes:

Ximena “Isis” Ávila

Joslin Blair

Johana Briones Ramos

Jeanelle Chavez

Karla Chavira

Luis De Loera Lopez

Jorge “Alexis” Dominguez

Valeria Duarte-Muñoz

Donovan Escobar

Mailyn Garay Martinez

Jamil Gastelum

Jasmine Hermosillo

Bryan Gutierrez Hernandez

Gilberto Hernandez

Michelle Hernandez Cordova

Eva Labine

Andrea Luna

Amy Macias

Elena Maldonado

Stephanie Manzo Orozco

Charlie Mays

Shane McCann

Theo McCarroll

Keylen Medrano

Lupita Morales

Samantha Muñoz

Johan Payan

Lillian Reynolds

Paola Roman

Daniela Rubio

Nancy Ruiz Hernandez

Alondra Saucedo Perez

Emily Santoyo Jimenez

Lizeth Sarellano

Mauricio Saucedo

Ximena Serna Serna

Dariely Soto

Esmeralda Vaquera

Nayely Varela

Juan Villareal Ozuna