VESTAL, NY – Vestal Central School District has 26 students achieving the New York State Seal of Biliteracy this school year. One student, for the first time ever, will earn their Seal in four languages plus English.

According to the New York State Education Department, the Seal of Biliteracy recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in English and one or more world languages. At Vestal, this means taking an IB course in Spanish, French, or German and successfully completing a world language presentation at the end of the year.

Some students can earn the seal in a different way, according to the school. “Additionally, school staff personally invite and recruit students who come from diverse households, adding more home languages to the program. As a district, they equally validate and value the contributions that diverse home languages and cultures bring into the school. The Seal provides an opportunity for Vestal to formally recognize the home environment.

One student, Leja Mujakovic, was able to use her family heritage to earn her seal in four languages. At home Leja has exposure to Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian; she also pushed herself to learn German in school. Leja is the very first student in New York State history to earn her seal in four different world languages.

Other students earned their seal’s in Spanish, French, Romanian, Ukrainian, Russian. Turkish, Gujarati, and Mandarin.