QACPS seniors earn Seal of Biliteracy for a sixth straight year!

CENTREVILLE — For the sixth year straight, World Language teachers in Queen Anne’s County Public Schools have earned Maryland Seal of Biliteracy Medalists at both Queen Anne’s County High School (QACHS) and Kent Island High School (KIHS).

Several students from both high schools were interviewed about earning “the Seal”:


Dr. Darren Guido, Supervisor of Instruction for World Languages said this year, forty-one students met the criteria to earn the Seal of Biliteracy in QACPS, including twenty-one seniors, sixteen juniors, four sophomores and nine additional underclassman awaiting final results of the MCAP ELA assessment as potential Seal of Biliteracy earners.

The research is clear about the academic, cognitive, economic, and socio-cultural benefits of knowing another language. Studying another language enhances the knowledge of English language structure and vocabulary, it reinforces the core subject areas of reading, social studies, and math, and many times, students score higher than their peers on standardized tests. Students who know another language tend to be more creative and are more able to solve complex problems than their monolingual peers.

“We are fortunate to be able to offer our students the opportunity to earn the Seal of Biliteracy,” shared Dr. Guido. “Our Seal of Biliteracy earners are better prepared for the global community and job markets where world language skills provide them with an economic advantage and many have had the opportunity to complete college –level coursework in languages while still in high school. They also tend to be more aware of and show a more positive attitude towards different cultures and demonstrate a greater appreciation of people who have different cultural perspectives and practices. These graduates are now well equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century’s ever-expanding world in which we live.”

Lori Heggelke, KIHS Department Chair excitedly shared, “The students from KIHS that have achieved the Seal of Biliteracy this year all have something in common: they are incredibly well-rounded individuals. Many of them also excel in mathematics and the sciences, or other areas of arts and humanities. I’m proud of each and every one, for they have all been on their own path to proficiency, either from a young age at home or when they started high school. It’s a great day to be a Buccaneer!”

When asking David Stricker, QACHS Department Chair, about students striving to earn the Seal, he says, “The Seal of Biliteracy continues to be a goal for all World Language students at QACHS. We now have students asking how they can take the test, even when they are not currently in a World Language class. Many students are excited to receive their scores and want to know how well they did. Those that nearly pass it in Spanish 3 are highly motivated going into Spanish 4 and work really hard to increase their scores and earn the Seal.”

Students earning the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy receive a medal, special recognition at senior awards ceremonies, a gold seal affixed on their diploma and a special designation appears on the students’ transcripts so that every college knows the student is ‘biliterate’, which is a huge draw to future employers.

There have been a consistent number of Seal of Biliteracy earners in QACPS annually, beginning with seventeen in 2019, nineteen in 2020, twenty-six in 2021, twenty-eight in 2022, and twenty-three seniors in 2023, and twenty-one in 2024.

All students in World Language classes in levels 2 – AP were given the opportunity to take the AAPPL test this year (ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages) free of charge, including several retakes of sections where students were close to earning, thanks to a grant written by Michael Bell, Supervisor of Instruction at Central Office, to support this district-wide initiative. Here are the 2024 Maryland Seal of Biliteracy Senior earners from both high schools:

KIHS 2024 Seal of Biliteracy Senior Earners

Emily Alt

Mackenzie Bridgeman

Isabelle Gamez

Alisson Gonzalez Ramon

Georgia Hines

Claudia Jensen

Darcy Lynn

Schunta Matsui

Jamie Tranquill

QACHS 2024 Seal of Biliteracy Senior Earners

Brittany Bamaca Esteban

Adan Canales

Chloe Eismeier

Sophia Melendez

Luis Mendez Gabriel

Bethany Nicholson

Faith Novak

Neida Ramirez Hernandez

Samantha Rosa Lopez

Richel Solis Bamaca

Caroline Taylor

Shawn Prince

Congratulations to all students earning the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy in 2024!