RAHWAY HS SENIORS AWARDED GLOBAL SEAL OF BILITERACY: SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT’S VISION REALIZED
Story by: Rob Kinch
Photos by: Joseph Mudrak
“I want our students to share in the benefits of being fluent in another language in today’s global economy.” The value Rahway Superintendent of Schools Dr. Patricia Camp has placed on a strong World Language program is clearly evidenced by her desire to acknowledge laudable student achievement in world language studies. “I believe our students should be very proud and need to be recognized for the things they have learned and mastered.” To that end, Dr. Camp has afforded her junior and senior students, for the first time at the high school, the opportunity to take a test to qualify for the State Seal of Biliteracy. If successful, those students would also receive a Global Seal of Biliteracy – an international credential that conveys proficiency with language skills in two or more languages. This credential offers a competitive advantage for students, helping them earn scholarships, higher pay, college credits, and increased opportunities for study abroad. Dr. Camp is proud to announce that 17 RHS seniors have earned this seal in languages ranging from Spanish and French to Brazilian Portuguese and Haitian Creole.
Also delighted with his students’ accomplishments, RHS Principal John Farinella avers that this Global Seal of Biliteracy “validates the role we place on World Language in our high school.” He adds, “I believe this Seal will bear fruit in ways the students have yet to envision.” Senior Miguel Garcia already foresees the intrinsic value of his Biliteracy Seal. “Knowing two languages, I now realize I will be able to assist more people in the workplace as there is more of a need for those who are bilingual. I’m pleased to know that I will be contributing to this need for representation.” Senior Karla Arias Justiano, arriving in the USA from Peru only two years ago and already an Honors English student, is “very proud” to use her speaking skills. “I know this is very important for so many careers; some people only speak Spanish and I can help!”
In addition to being awarded the Global Seal of Biliteracy for their achievements in the French language, seniors Andrew Santacruz and Olivier Diegue were also recognized for their fluency in one additional language as well! Andrew was cited for his ‘Working fluency for Spanish’ and Olivier for his ‘Working fluency for Haitian Creole’. Considering his facility with three languages, Olivier comments, “Due to technology in today’s world, we have become disconnected as a society. However, being trilingual now allows me to serve as a bridge to other cultures.” As Superintendent Camp firmly believes “being fluent in another language will definitely help students to discover new ways of thinking and to become better problem solvers,” these seniors’ noteworthy accomplishments most assuredly prove that they are well on their way.