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Sixty-four Woodburn students receive Seal of Biliteracy

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The seal recognizes students' linguistic ability in English and a second language

INDEPENDENT PHOTO: JULIA COMNES - Seal of Biliteracy recipients were honored with medals at a recognition ceremony on March 14. In total, 64 Woodburn students were recognized. Seal of Biliteracy recipients from WAAST are pictured after receiving their medals.Sixty-four Woodburn high school seniors received the State of Oregon Seal of Biliteracy in a recognition ceremony the evening of March 14. The seal recognizes the linguistic assets and academic skills of biliterate high school graduates, as well as provides colleges and employers with a consistent measure for bilingual proficiency.

The class of 2017 is the third high school graduating class to have the opportunity to receive a Seal of Biliteracy in Oregon. This year's graduating class has the highest number of Woodburn students receiving the seal since the program's inception. In 2015, when the program was still in its pilot stage, seven Woodburn students received the seal, and in 2016, 42 received the seal.

"These numbers reflect the importance we place on dual language programs," said Superintendent Chuck Ransom in a Woodburn School District press release. "Students with more than one language are better prepared to succeed in a global society." 

INDEPENDENT PHOTO: JULIA COMNES - The students received medals at Tuesday's ceremony, but the Seal of Biliteracy itself will be on the student's diplomas. The seal is designed to provide colleges and employers with a consistent measure of bilingual proficiency.Graduating seniors are eligible to apply for the seal if their grade point average is 3.0 or higher, if they have completed all required credits for graduation, have met all essential skills requirements and demonstrate proficiency in the two or more languages.

Different districts use different methods of measure a student's biliteracy. Woodburn School District requires the students to submit a portfolio containing two or three written work samples in English and a second language to the Oregon Department of Education. The students must also give an oral interview and presentation of their work in both languages.

"Recipients for this distinguished district and state award are exceptional young adults with outstanding skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing in English plus a partner language," Liliana Heller-Mafrica, the coordinator for the seal of biliteracy program in Woodburn, wrote in an email.

The program not only provides a way of recognizing individual students, but also is a way to show the district as a whole is effective, Heller-Mafrica said. Since many students attend Woodburn schools from kindergarten through their senior year, having students receive recognition for the bilingual abilities proves that Woodburn's dual language instruction is effective.

"It's a benchmark for showing our program works," Heller-Mafrica said.

2017 Woodburn Seal of Biliteracy Recipients

Academy of International Studies:

Juan Angulo Torres

Elizabeth Barajas-Hernandez

Ariadna Bonifacio Herrera

Omar Bonifacio Herrera

Marisol Ceballos

Angie Garcia Alvarado

Juvenal Gonzalez Martinez

Sergio Juarez Cruz

Hortencia Legaria Solano

Cristopher Martinez Morales

Maria Martinez-Morales

Anna Minakova

Edith Nunez Castro

Carlos Ramirez Vasquez

Rafael Vasquez Lopez

Woodburn Arts and Communications Academy:

Jessica Baltazar-Juanpedro

Justin Escobar-Natareno

Adolfo Gonzalez Portal

Ileana Hernandez-Acevedo

Marco Ortega

Erika Ortiz Alvarez

Julia Martinez Peterson

Martin Ramos Ibarra

Alberto Valencia Valenciano

Nola Waage

Wellness, Business and Sports School:

Abdirisaq Adan Ali

Alicia Arreola Bustos

Rolando Camacho Alonso

Maria Carillo Gabriel

Karson Christiansen

Belen Garcia Ramos

Denice Gonzalez Morales

Maria Mar Camacho

Graciela Martinez

Gabriela Mecinas-Estevez

Rodhe Mendoza Benavides

Roxana Merino Victoria

Heriberto Moralez-Baca

Ana Rojas Rojas

Berenice Santiago

Ines Tapia Hernandez

Michelle Torres Ortiz

Erick Torres Alvarado

Kevin Vasquez Silva

Zachary Woolley

Woodburn Academy of Art, Science and Technology:

Jose Andrade Chavez

Lizbeth Arellano Pecina

Graciela Bartolo

Josselyn Capos Alvarado

Ruben de Jesus Villa

Angel de la Cruz-De Jesus

Karla Garcia Hernandez

Lili Giron Giron

Aytza Gutierrez Lopez

Miron Ivanovich Kosovan

Jose Lopez Chiquito

Ivonne Lopez-Audelo

Jazmin Marrow

Perla Gamez

Melissa Perez-Estevez

Jame Rodriguez Amezcua

Oscar Saldana Simiano

Karen Serrato Guzman

Yazmin Silva Garcia