AFter intense study, 15 PBHS students earn Seal of Biliteracy

Fifteen Pine Bush High School seniors earned the New York State Seal of Biliteracy at a recognition ceremony at Pine Bush High School on Tuesday, June 4.

A group of 15 high school students stand on steps. They all have a gold medallion around their necks.


The intent of the New York State Seal of Biliteracy is to encourage the study of languages, prepare students with 21st century skills, recognize the value of foreign and native language instruction in schools and affirm the value of diversity in a multilingual society.


Kristin Raucci, the district’s world language chairperson and Seal of Biliteracy coordinator, reminded those assembled of the value of communication and learning another language. “It allows us to share our essence with another human being and opens the door to new experiences.”


A high school young woman stands in front of a group of people presenting. Behind her is a screen with a picture and information on it.


She stressed how much work is involved for the students pursuing the Seal of Biliteracy. “It takes a great deal of time and commitment,” she said.

The students will wear their medallion for graduation and the seal will be added to their diplomas.

The ceremony was dedicated to Pine Bush High School Principal Aaron Hopmayer, thanking him for his support throughout the years.


A high school boy, along with his family, two adults, a young woman and a small child, stand together.


“You have been a promoter of foreign language learning,” said Ms. Raucci. “You have supported our ENL (English as a New Language) students wholeheartedly. You have done what is best for our students! Muchas gracias!”

Earning the seal takes intense study and presentation skills. The Seal of Biliteracy recognizes students who have attained a high level of proficiency in the three standards/modes of communication: interpretive, interpersonal, in one or more languages, in addition to English. The criteria to be awarded the Seal of Biliteracy is based on those established by the Board of Regents.


Two high school girls have their heads close together and smile. They are holding certificates.

The students each prepared five pieces of work for their biliteracy portfolio. They chose a topic from those five and prepared a five-minute presentation, in Spanish of course. They answered questions on the topic, as well as questions about themselves, their studies, their future plans and any follow-up questions.

Two adults, a man on the left and a woman in a long black dress on the right, stand by a young woman with long dark hair with a gold medallion around her neck.

Three adults, a man on the left and two women, stand together smiling.


Ms. Raucci thanked her fellow Seal of Biliteracy Committee members: Daniel Edwards, Mari Shaffer and Kelly Cooke.


The following students received the 2024 New York State Seal of Biliteracy:

  • Isabella Gallego-Herrera
  • David Gomez
  • Jenna Hopmayer
  • Akeelah Moxam
  • Anna Olivier
  • Mya Riquelme
  • Milene Rodas
  • Gabrielle Rossello
  • Salvador Serrano
  • Kaya Shepard
  • Tiffany Stangoni
  • Tiffany Tinoco Claros
  • Mackenzie Todd
  • Saige Valentino
  • Alisha Vazquez
Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Brian Dunn
Superintendent of Schools
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