Community News

Wantagh Celebrates Its Multilingual Seniors

Photo courtesy of the Wantagh School District

Six students from Wantagh High School’s Class of 2024 will graduate in June with the Seal of Biliteracy, representing their commitment to the mastery of multiple languages.

Wantagh High School began awarding the Seal of Biliteracy since 2018. The designation recognizes students who have demonstrated mastery of English and at least one world language. Their names are added to a plaque on the second floor.

Seniors Olivia Belling, Andrew Braun, Samantha Cortes, Louis DeLuca, Jaiden Diaz and Madison Smith will receive the Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish, with Madison also earning it in Italian. To qualify for the distinction, students had to complete a cultural comparison research project and present it in their respective world language to a panel of teachers and administrators.

Madison began taking Spanish in middle school, and added Italian in ninth grade, learning both languages throughout high school. For her projects, she studied the effects of social media on teenage minds in Spanish and flooding in the city of Venice for Italian.

“I’ve always liked learning languages and they’ve always come pretty naturally to me,” she said, adding that the projects were “a good introduction to presenting in other languages that are not my native tongue.”

Jaiden said that mastering a second language came from his desire to better communicate with Spanish-speaking family in Costa Rica and Puerto Rico. His cultural comparisons project was on the test-optional rule for college admissions.

“It was a lot of work,” he said of earning the Seal of Biliteracy. “I’m very proud of myself for being able to accomplish it.”

Director of Humanities Julie Rosslee said that this is great accomplishment for the seniors as well as their teachers. She commended the world language faculty for the insight, time and support they provide their students.

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