WATERTOWN — Nearly two dozen north country seniors have demonstrated proficiency in communicating through a second language and have earned the New York State Seal of Biliteracy.

The NYSSB recognizes high school graduates who have attained and can demonstrate a high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in more than one language.

The intent 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; prepare students for twenty-first century skills; recognize the value of foreign and native language instruction in schools; and affirm the value of diversity in a multilingual society.

This year, a record number of students participated in the Seal of Biliteracy program through the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES consortium and collaboration with participating local school districts. For the first time, students from St. Lawrence and Oswego counties participated, joining those in Jefferson and Lewis counties.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic closing school buildings for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, final presentations by participating students took place virtually May 19 through May 28.

Each student’s final presentation took place before a panel of judges made up of local foreign language instructors. 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 earning the Seal of Biliteracy received a virtual certificate and other items. The Seal of Biliteracy is placed on each student’s high school diploma upon graduation.

The following students earned the Seal of Biliteracy — included with the name of the student is their second language and the name of their presentation.

Jocelyn Bura, Spanish “Healthcare in Spain”

Giavanna Doldo, Spanish, “Crisis of Venezuela”

Joshua Steiner, French, “Fishing in France and Canada”

Juliet Tavernier, Spanish, “Status of Women in Chile”

Larissa Wiltse, French, “Bilingualism and Education in France”

Emma Zehr, French, “Laws on Gender and Sexuality in French Speaking Regions”

General brown Central School

Peter Harvill, Spanish, “Latin American Music: It’s Influences, Styles, and Most Popular Artists”

Madison Briggs, French, “The Olympics”

Avery Peck, French, “The Differences between the Health Systems in the United States and France”

Peyton Sammons, French, “The Evolution of Dance”

Gabriella Frappier, Spanish, “Investigations into Women’s Body Image in Columbia and Latin America”

Anah Bogdan, Spanish, “Social Inequality in Chile”

Peyton Brown, French, “The Beauty Industry Effect on Self Confidence”

Brenna Strickland, Spanish, “Climate Change and the Environment in Costa Rica”

Riley Dowlearn, Spanish, “Venezuela: A Humanitarian Crisis”

Evelyn Bibbins (two languages) Spanish, “Air Pollution” and French, “Waste Management in the United States and in Switzerland”

Andrew Thomas, Spanish, “Islamophobia”

Holly Young, French, “Romantic Music”

Tuyen Huynh, Spanish, “Education Systems in the United States and Spain”

Luis Pena Velez, English, “Why People Should Visit Puerto Rico”

Angela Rodriquez-Maldonado, English, “Body Image-Shaped by Media?”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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