Four Whittier Tech Seniors Receive State Seal of Biliteracy

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School students Nolan Macario, left, and Julio Diaz with their Seals of Biliteracy. (Courtesy photograph.)

Jesus Infante Rodriguez of Haverhill. (Courtesy photograph.)

Four seniors at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School recently earned the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy distinction in Spanish.

They are Roberto Catuc Coc of Newbury, studying Electrical; Julio Diaz of Groveland, studying Electronics and Robotics; Jesus Infante Rodriguez of Haverhill, studying Marketing Education and Business Technology; and Nolan Macario, also of Haverhill, studying Electronics/Robotics.

Superintendent Maureen Lynch said the seal recognizes students who have achieved proficiency in English and at least one other language by high school graduation. The Seal of Biliteracy promotes excellence in the study of world language, respect for human differences by exposing students to other cultures and perspectives and equity by honoring the diverse literacy skills of those in the community. It also provides evidence of biliteracy skills to future employers and college admissions officers.

English Language Coordinator Susannah Dimauro, who serves as the Seal of Biliteracy advisor, helped prepare students for this comprehensive test, which was administered at the end of January.

“Mrs. DiMauro provided us with study materials in January. The test was administered over two days. It’s an honor to add this achievement to my Whittier experience. I can’t wait to update my resume. I would definitely encourage more students to take this exam,” said Diaz.

Added Marcario, “Thankfully I got this last-minute opportunity to take the test. There are more opportunities within the workplace, college and scholarships after earning this distinction.”

“We are particularly proud of these students’ achievements, as they represent the highest number of State Seal recipients since our school began the program three years ago. This award is not easy to attain,” Dimauro said. “Students must have a high level of fluency in a partner language, demonstrating proficiency in all four domains of speaking, listening, reading and writing.”

Eight heritage languages are represented across 1,261 students at Whittier Tech: Igbo, Swahili, Twi, Portuguese, Spanish, Pashto, Haitian Creole and various Central American dialects of Spanish.

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