South Orangetown Central School District

Sixteen Tappan Zee High School seniors have earned the New York State Seal of Biliteracy for high proficiency in listening, reading, writing and speaking in English and at least one other world language. 

“Congratulations to each student on completing the Seal of Biliteracy!” said TZHS World Language Team Leader Maria Bruno. “This honor is a testament to their commitment to world languages and their excitement and appreciation for world cultures.  This is an incredible accomplishment that will certainly help them in all of their future endeavors.”  

“The increased number of students receiving the Seal of Biliteracy is a reflection of our students’ interest in exploring and excelling at learning about other languages and cultures. It is also a reflection of the hard work our World Language Department has done in providing our students with educational opportunities to develop as culturally aware, bilingual global citizens. Finally, this accomplishment also reflects the strong leadership provided by Assistant Principal Melissa Luciano since her arrival here three years ago. Ms. Luciano has worked collaboratively with the teachers and students in our World Language Department and has supported all the great work that is going on in our classrooms. Her instructional leadership is to be commended,” TZHS Principal Rudy Arietta noted.

Congratulations to:

Melanie Boiano (Italian)
Kristen Breen (Italian)
Maya Chinnock (Spanish)
Katrina Christopher Peel (French)
Kara Dixon (Spanish)
Sofia Kallivokas (Italian)
Grace Killeen (French)
Meghan Majewski (Spanish)
Dayana Mazariego (Spanish)
Diana Leal Moran (French)
Alexandra Looram (Spanish)
Victoria Pernick (Spanish)
Monica Rivera (Spanish and Italian)
Katherine Sullivan (Spanish)
Ang Tanksley (Italian)
Dylan Tobin (Spanish)

The purpose of the Seal is to encourage language study and identify students with language and biliteracy skills for employers and universities. Since TZHS began participating in this program four years ago, 25 seniors have earned the Seal. Of these, three students have qualified for tri-literacy. Last winter, Tappan Zee High School was awarded the Silver Seal of Biliteracy Badge for graduating students who have achieved this certification. 

World language instruction in French, Italian and Spanish begins in sixth grade and extends through high school. Advanced Placement courses are offered in French and Spanish and college credit-bearing courses are available in all three languages. South Orangetown students may also learn other world languages through Virtual High School.

“The World Language Department is continuously revising its curriculum to provide our students with authentic learning opportunities,” explained TZHS Assistant Principal Melissa Luciano, a former World Language teacher who is fluent in Spanish. “Part of this work has included shifting from the AP Spanish Literature course to the AP Spanish Language and Culture course for 2022-23 to focus more on all four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. The Seal of Biliteracy allows our students and teachers the opportunity to showcase the rich, authentic and rigorous instruction our district offers. Our teachers have done a tremendous job encouraging the study of languages to prepare our students with the skills necessary to succeed in a multilingual society.”

Seal of Biliteracy Winners