West Chicago Community High School students recognized for biliteracy

On Tuesday, May 2, West Chicago Community High School recognized 54 seniors for earning the Illinois State Commendation toward Biliteracy or the Seal of Biliteracy at a Seal of Biliteracy celebration ceremony.

This year, awards were earned in five languages: Arabic, French, German, Polish and Spanish.

Students who earned either level of biliteracy will receive recognition on their diploma as well as noted on their official transcript. Recipients will also be recognized at Senior Awards Night later this month.

The Commendation toward Biliteracy was awarded to the following 21 seniors in four different languages: Tutu Kuku, Arabic; AnnaBelle Beaird, Lilybet Mendez Munoz, Sam Rutledge, and Ximena Valenciano Serna, French; Milagros Mendez, German; and Maria AlHammo, Ximena Avila, Allison Balmer, Yasmin Calderon, Leyla Garcia, Cristian Leon, Jack Riconosciuto, Maritsa Romero, Courtney Roxas, Alysa Solomon, Ashley Soria, Ema Tomasevic, Anelise Velasco, Thania Villagran, and Connor Zentner, Spanish.

The Seal of Biliteracy was awarded to the following 33 students in two different languages: Sabina Dzioch, Polish; and Denise Guadalupe Aguilar Garcia, Kenya Bahena, Ashley Barrera, Ismael Barrera Jr., Pablo Barrera Mendoza, Melissa Casimiro, Alexa Correa, Melanie Coss, Vanessa Garcia, Jennifer Gomez, Itzel Hernandez, Jamileth Hernandez, Kary Hernandez, Shayla Hernandez, Gannon Hosticka, Analucia Lopez, John Luis, Milagros Mendez, Nayely Mendez, Fernando Ortiz Beltran, Lizbeth Orozco, Alexa Palacios Reyes, Gardenia Ramirez, Belen Rangel Beltran, Melyssa Salinas, Dayanna Sanchez, Mariana Servin, Mark Stavenger, Montserrat Renee Tapia, Fabricio Vargas, Jennifer Vargas, and Isabella Wiehle, Spanish.

Milagros Mendez was the only recipient to be awarded in more than one language (Spanish and German).

Since 2018, 130 students have been awarded the Seal of Biliteracy at West Chicago Community High School. This year was the first year that the Commendation toward Biliteracy was awarded to students, and the first year that students received recognition in Arabic and Polish.

West Chicago Community High School believes this is an opportunity to recognize students who demonstrate high levels of proficiency in a language other than English. Recipients are more competitive to future employers and college admissions offices. In addition, in the state of Illinois, they are eligible for free college credit at all public colleges and universities.

The Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English. To qualify, recipients must demonstrate proficiency in English and a second language that is equivalent to Intermediate-High or above, as determined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

To qualify for the Commendation toward Biliteracy, recipients demonstrate English and/or second language proficiency with a rating of Intermediate-Low or Intermediate-Mid.

To qualify, seniors must earn a minimum score on the SAT, ACT, ACCESS for ELLs 2.0, AAPPL, AP, or STAMP in each language. For students who may speak a language not tested on one of these assessments, a language portfolio may be developed which is then evaluated by the same standards.

Since its initiation in 2018, West Chicago Community High School has issued biliteracy awards in Arabic, French, German, Polish, and Spanish. More information about the Seal of Biliteracy program specifically at West Chicago Community High School is available at

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