South Orangetown Central School District

Seniors Jackie Mazariego-Lemus, Jude Paulemon and Daysi Vasconez Castro have earned the New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB), which recognizes high school graduates who demonstrate a high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages in addition to English–a first for Tappan Zee High School! The purpose of the NYSSB is to encourage language study and identify students with language and biliteracy skills for employers and universities.

“Jackie, Jude, and Daysi serve as stellar examples for the rest of us to follow as we each attempt to better communicate with a wider audience,” said Superintendent Dr. Robert Pritchard. “Earning the New York State Diploma Seal of Biliteracy is a high honor and reflects great credit upon these students and the ELA and world language programs here in the South Orangetown Central School District.”

Jackie attended TZHS for four years and earned the NYSSB for Spanish/English. She was awarded a full scholarship to Dominican College, where she will study nursing. “This has been the best experience of my life because I got to meet excellent teachers and try something new that I didn’t think I’d ever be a part of,” Jackie said.

Although they only arrived at TZHS in the fall of 2017, Jude (French/English) and Daysi (Spanish/English) have also made their mark. Jude is headed to Rochester Institute of Technology, where he will major in bioinformatics and Daysi will begin her career in medicine studying biology at Rockland Community College. “It has been hard and fun and I’ve built lifelong relationships here,” Jude said. “I’ve grown a lot as a student and as a person and I am grateful for the teachers I’ve had.” Daysi echoed the sentiment and reflected, “I’ve met so many good people and I’m going to miss them.”

Three TZHS seniors, seated, who earned the NYSSB