Morse High School seniors Nina Powers, Evan Willertz and Eleanor Carrolton have become eligible for the Maine State Seal of Biliteracy. Contributed photo

Morse High School has announced that seven graduating seniors have qualified to receive the Maine State Seal of Biliteracy, an award that recognizes student achievement in language learning. To qualify, students had to score well on their SATs to prove proficiency in English and take a 4.5-hour test from the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages to prove proficiency in their second language.

“All of the students who took the test did very well, and we’re so proud of them,” French teacher Becky Deschaine said in a news release. “They all faced challenges because of COVID-19, but they stuck with it, practiced, and persevered.”

Spanish teacher Jennifer Williams said that this year, because of distance learning, students received half as much class time and practice as usual. Despite that, this will be the largest number of qualifying seniors to receive the Seal since the Maine Department of Education began the Maine Seal of Biliteracy program in 2019. Fifteen students have earned the seal at Morse High School over the last three years, and four were able to earn college credit for their achievement within the University of Maine System.

In addition to French and Spanish, Morse graduates have earned the Seal in Serbian and German.

“I think that the seal helps legitimize foreign language classes,” said Williams. “It shows that foreign language can be a door to a job, or a college, besides being enriching on its own.”

The 2021 qualifying seniors are Spanish language students Tanner Hennin, Eleanor Carrolton, Acadia Morse, Katelyn Anderson, Allison Siliezar and Evan Willertz, as well as French language student Nina Powers

In addition, by passing the French and Spanish examinations, the following members of the classes of 2022024 are on track to receive the Seal when they reach senior year: Spanish language students Isabel Strelneck and Liani Rodriguez, and French language student Orlane Bognini and Liam Drewniak.

Morse High School students Tanner Hennin, Katelyn Anderson, Acadia Morse and Allison Siliezar are eligible for the for Maine State Seal of Biliteracy.

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