Whittier Tech Students Earn Biliteracy Distinction

Tuesday March 29, 2022

HAVERHILL – Four Whittier Tech students have earned the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy distinction in Spanish.

• Roberto Catuc Coc, a senior from Newbury studying Electrical

• Julio Diaz, a senior from Groveland studying Electronics/Robotics

• Jesus Infante Rodriguez, a senior from Haverhill studying Marketing Education and Business Technology 

• Nolan Macario, a senior from Haverhill studying Electronics/Robotics

The seal recognizes students who have achieved proficiency in English and at least one other language by high school graduation.

Students were awarded this distinction based on their performance on the Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL) test administered by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Students also fulfilled the Carnegie unit credit requirements in English Language Arts.

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.”

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.

“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. I applaud our administration for initiating this program and for their support of our diverse student body who come with many gifts and talents in a number of different languages and cultures.”

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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