Return to Headlines

39 BHS Seniors Awarded Seal of Biliteracy

Thirty-nine seniors at Brewster High School have received the New York State Seal of Biliteracy. The award recognizes students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation.


The New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) is an award given to high school graduates who have demonstrated a high level of proficiency in English and one or more world languages. The NYSSB encourages the study of languages, affirms the value of diversity in a multilingual society, and provides universities and future employers with additional information about applicants.


 “We are very happy about this 2024 Seal of Biliteracy. We have once again reached a record number of  recipients and BCSD has become a reference in the Hudson Valley area thanks to our successful program over the years” said Alexander Gutiérrez and Maider Solores, NYSSB Coordinators. 


“We have been working with CUNY on their process to determine if the Seal of Biliteracy will be accepted as college credit for the foreign language requirements. After observing our work and analyzing some of our recipients' materials, they decided to accept the Seal as credit for the new students. We will continue working to extend this to the whole SUNY system” explained Alexander Gutiérrez. 


This year, the BHS NYSSB program has been chosen to mentor a High School from NYC on their process to create their own Seal Program and received great feedback from colleagues in NYC. Because of all these achievements, the BCSD Seal of Biliteracy program has been highlighted in the New York State Education Department Guidelines for the Seal of Biliteracy.


“Biliteracy is a Superpower you can develop. It will allow you to break down language barriers and make connections on a deeper level. It can boost your brain power and open up career opportunities,” said BHS Principal Nicole Horler.


Two students obtained the NYSSB in English and 2 more world languages. Alicia Oliveros, who obtained her seal in English, Spanish and Italian, said, “I feel proud that all my hard work and dedication has been worth it. The ability to have learned 2 other languages is a privilege, and I'm very thankful that I have the opportunity to do so.  Learning 2 other languages makes me feel accomplished and proves to myself and others that with hard work you can accomplish anything”.


Amanda Guo, who obtained her Seal in English, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish explained, “for me, being trilingual means the ability to be able to connect with more people around me, and the responsibility to continue speaking the language, and continuously improve the languages that I know, in order to benefit my community, and those around me.”


Guo went on to say, “Chinese is a very important language in my life, because all of my family members speak it, and my parents continuously emphasize the importance of maintaining the language with my family and relatives. Knowing Spanish is important to me as well, because many people in my school, and in my town speak Spanish, so being able to know Spanish as well, gives me an opportunity to connect and help them and support them in different ways.”


All students are excited and honored that they were able to obtain the Seal in multiple languages and grateful for all of the support and help they received from their teachers and advisors at BHS.


Italian group