Top banner
Like us On Facebook
Thursday June 7, 2018 at 3:54pm Age: 284 days
Category: High School, District


MVHS seniors Crystal Hernandez-Linares and Adriana Melendez-Alprecht were awarded New York State’s Seal of Biliteracy in recognition of their academic success and literacy in English and in Spanish. The state’s  approved seal will be affixed to the students’ high school diplomas.

Crystal and Adriana had no formal English instruction until about a year ago, when they arrived in the United States and resumed their secondary studies at Minisink Valley High School. Through hard work, perseverance, and the guidance of their English as New Language (ENL) teachers, what began as a monumental challenge and disadvantage is emerging as an opportunity with life-long benefits.

“Although both students were learning English for the first time, they successfully completed all of their academic classes despite the language barrier,” said Nicole Golder, ENL teacher. “While applying for the Seal of Biliteracy, they both reflected on the challenges and the rewards of being biliterate.”

Crystal's experience...

When Crystal arrived here just 10 months ago, communication barriers heightened the feeling of being alone in a new school and community, but they also served as motivation for studying. She spent much of her time reading and poring over the dictionary. She relied heavily on the school library, the help of English teachers, Mrs. Torres, Mrs. Dileo and Ms. Golder, and the respite of the ENL class where students share the same experience. She struggled to keep up with algebra and history, but proved herself when she passed her regents.

“This award is very important to me,” Crystal said. “It recognizes my hard work, and makes me feel proud of myself. I know that being bilingual will be an advantage in my future.” Crystal will continue her studies at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in the fall.

Adriana's experience...

Adriana started at MVHS in March of 2017. She remembers feeling different and cut off. She experienced difficult times in several of her classes, especially Earth science. She pushed herself hard, reading and watching American TV alone at home, where everyone spoke Spanish.

She credits Mrs. Bourgeois and Ms. Golder for their instruction and guidance, and her ENL peers for their support and camaraderie. Adriana has passed her regents and is extremely excited to be graduating. She only wishes her parents were here to see her.

Honored to receive the Seal of Biliteracy, Adriana is already experiencing the benefits of speaking two languages. She will be studying economics at SUNY Purchase, and she looks forward to using her biliterate skills to help others overcome language barriers and pursue their dreams.