PHS Students Earn State Seal of Biliteracy


Simar Kaur (12th), Editor

The California State seal of Biliteracy is awarded to students who have shown proficiency in 2 different languages. Current seniors can apply for the seal, which is imprinted on their high school diploma. 


There are many ways a student can earn their state seal. For Spanish, many students either take Ap Spanish Language or AP Spanish Literature, and if they do so with a passing score, they qualify for the seal. For other languages and those who didn’t take an AP class, students are required to write an essay in their language and conduct an interview. If both aspects are passed, students can qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy.


Stanislaus county was the oldest county in the country to adopt the program, this year being the 13th year. Soon after many counties across California as well as across the country adopted the program. At the very first ceremony only 39 students were recognized, whereas this year over 250 students were awarded the seal.


The following schools participate in the Seal of Biliteracy Program:

  • Central Valley High
  • Riverbank High
  • Ceres High
  • Turlock High
  • Pitman High
  • Waterford High
  • Roselawn High
  • Denair High
  • Sentinel High
  • eCademy High
  • Orestimba High
  • Valley College High
  • Hughson High
  • Whitmore Charter High


This year, the award ceremony was held on May 9 at the Fruit Yard Venue in Modesto, Ca. Of those awards awarded, 90 percent were in Spanish and the other languages included but were not limited to Punjabi, Italian and Assyrian.


Pitman High School had a total of 38 recipients. Below is a list of the names as well as the corresponding language in which they gained proficiency:

First Last Language
Itzayana Acosta Spanish
Ameyalli Alvarez Spanish
Ruth Banuelos Spanish
Yocelin Barros Delgado Spanish
Monica Canseco Spanish
Achilles Clarke Spanish
Faith Dyer Spanish
Damian Franco Spanish
Ariana Galaz Spanish
Maria Gamino Zamora Spanish
Camila Garcia Spanish
Cristian Jacinto Spanish
Miranda Jimenez Spanish
Ekampreet Kaur Punjabi
Gurnoor Kaur Punjabi
Simar Kaur Punjabi
Lingzi Ma Mandarin
Bblina Malkopoor Assyrian
Miguel Martinez Spanish
Alex Medina Spanish
Samantha Narsi Assyrian
Alyssa Nida Spanish
Diego Nida Spanish
Alexis Perez Spanish
Emily Perez Spanish
Sebastian Perez Spanish
Jorge Perez Andrade Spanish
Susana Pulido Spanish
Alvaro Ramos Spanish
Alyssa Rivas Spanish
Gabriela Rodriguez Spanish
Amairany Rodriguez Lucatero Spanish
Juan Diego Serrato Rodriguez Spanish
Bryan Soto Spanish
Rigoberto Torres Spanish
Sofia Valadez Spanish
Denis Valdovinos Gonzalez Spanish
Abraham Valencia Spanish


Let’s see what fellow recipient Ariana Galaz has to say about receiving this award.

  • What does it mean to you to have this seal?

“Having the seal is something really important for me since it’s a representation of who I am in a way. It allows me to communicate with so many people around me, especially my family.”


  • What did the process look like for you in receiving this seal?

“My first language was Spanish and I learned English through school yet I always felt dumb due to not being as smart as others around me. However the older I got and the more proficient I  became in English the more I excelled in school. Upon reaching high school Spanish class I was scared that I would fail or not be able to succeed due to not being able to speak the language well enough. It has allowed me to accomplish so much in life that I am so grateful for my parents speaking only Spanish around me because it allowed me to get to where I am right now. “


Now let’s see what recipient Alvaro Ramos has to say about receiving this award.

  • What does it mean to you to have this seal?

“To me, earning the State Seal of Biliteracy means that I have the ability to grow my roots deeper into my culture. As a Mexican-American born to two immigrant parents, I have always struggled between balancing my school life where I always spoke English and my personal life where I have always spoken Spanish with my family. Earning the State Seal of Biliteracy only strengthens my parents’ dreams. It shows that their dreams of giving us a better life in America doesn’t have to result in the erasure of their culture. It shows that even if we’re exposed to two different cultures while growing up, we can succeed in understanding both. To me, the State Seal means that I can love and connect to both my friends and family on my American half, and love and connect with my family in Mexico.”


Having this seal can be really helpful when you are applying for college or jobs. Receiving this is not an easy journey so it is an incredible honor to have the State Seal of Biliteracy. Congratulations to all the recipients!