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8 KHS Students Earn Seal of Biliteracy

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This is the first year of the program in KSD that recognizes students who attain proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation

Kearney, Mo., May 11, 2023: Kearney High School’s foreign language teachers continue to prove that they speak the language of success.

Eight KHS students have earned the Missouri Seal of Biliteracy this spring, according to German teacher Stacey Getz. This is the first year that KHS has offered the program, and it’s one of the few high schools to do so in the Northland.

The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by a school, school district, or state in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation, according to the coalition that created the program. The goal is to help students recognize the value of their academic success and see the tangible benefits of being bilingual.

This year’s Seal of Biliteracy recipients at KHS include:

  • Kendall Ernzen (Senior) – Spanish
  • Julia Holmes (Senior) – Spanish
  • Ella Mack (Senior) – Spanish
  • Kate Martens (Junior) – Spanish
  • Ben Rivas (Senior) – Spanish
  • Zachary Proctor (Senior) – German
  • Evan Janiak (Junior) – Spanish
  • Grace Troncin (Senior) – Spanish

All of these honorees first had to score proficient or advanced on the English II End-of-Course exam. Next, they each submitted an essay explaining why sociocultural competence and biliteracy are important and valuable for the entire community. Those essays are evaluated by an anonymous team of graders.

The final part of the process is a battery of tests in the second language, during which they must demonstrate intermediate or better mastery of reading, writing, listening and speaking in order to earn the Seal of Biliteracy. Twenty-eight KHS students participated in the process.

Stacey Getz

“Our students embraced this challenge and did an amazing job,” Getz said. “They all deserve recognition and congratulations. This is an incredibly difficult undertaking.”

A Seal of Biliteracy is a valuable credential for students as they pursue their college and career goals. It is considered a Market Value Asset (MVA) under Kearney School District’s Real World Learning initiative; all graduates will be required to have an MVA to graduate starting with the Class of 2025.

In addition, a number of colleges, universities and businesses offer incentives for students who have earned the seal. At Missouri State University, for instance, students with the seal can earn foreign language credits without having to take those classes.

Jennifer Kopp

“I appreciate all the work everyone has put into adding the Seal of Biliteracy as another outstanding option for our Kearney High School students,” Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services Jennifer Kopp said. “This is a great addition to our Real World Learning initiative.”

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