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FAYETTEVILLE -- The School Board at Thursday's meeting honored 35 students who earned the Arkansas Seal of Biliteracy award this school year.

In the fall of 2017, 101 students from Arkansas were awarded the Biliteracy Award. Fayetteville High School racked up more than any school and earned 36 awards for proficiency in Chinese, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish.

The can be languages they learned at the high school -- which offers Spanish, French and German -- or from outside education/experience, said James Russell, a Fayetteville German teacher.

The students have proven, through nationally-certified testing, their proficiency in reading, listening, speaking and writing in two or more languages. This includes showing proficiency in English, said Michelle Moore, Spanish teacher and world language department chairwoman for the school.

"We want to be sure they can communicate and utilize their language skills," Russell said. "Sometimes, our English Language Learning students' skill set are overlooked. We want to recognize those skills."

Sophomore Alberto Hernandez's second language is English and is also involved in band and track. He wants to either be in a pediatrician or a chiropractor and said being proficient in two languages will not only benefit him but also help his future patients. He has met the award requirements and will receive the award.

"I am honored and humbled to have taken the biliteracy test. I know by receiving this award, it will help open doors in my future," Hernandez said.

Senior Savannah Busch is studying Spanish. She said her language skills came up in an interview for a University of Arkansas scholarship.

"I believe it actually helped me get the scholarship," she said.

Fayetteville started a pilot program last school year, which helped four students earn the state biliteracy award.

In other business, Superintendent Matthew Wendt recommended adding an assistant principal for Fayetteville Virtual Academy as the program continues to grow, he said. This position will be filled by Kim Cook starting July 1.

Wend also discussed switching the virtual academy and the administration officers switch buildings. The virtual academy is at 300 S. Ray Ave. while the administrative building is behind the high school on Bulldog Boulevard.

"It's not ideal," Wendt said. "However, it would be doing what is in the best interest of high school staff and students. It just simply makes sense that students would not need to drive, but could simply walk across Bulldog Boulevard and enjoy online learning."

The board also unanimously passed revisions to policies including promotion/retention/acceleration of students, gangs and gang activity, alternative learning environments, extracurricular activities and closed campus.

All of these policies can be viewed at the schools website,, under "leadership" then "board of education" tab.

They also passed the 2017-2018 budget after the Arkansas Department of Education approval.

Students awarded

At Fayetteville High School, 35 students earned the Arkansas Seal of Biliteracy Award:

• Henry Aggus

• Rachel Allen

• Noah Ballinger

• Caden Blaschke

• Eva Bogomilova

• Savannah Busch

• Hannah Bylak

• Lexli Cabrera

• Riley Crouch

• Duru Erkan

• Sara Gardner

• Isabel Gomez

• Joslyn Haggard

• Lauren Harper

• Elizabeth Hoff

• Ana Ibarra

• Emily Jackson

• Sarah Jong

• Claire Kirchner

• Alex Lim

• Emily Lyles

• Mark Mansell

• Leslie Martinez

• Alexis Marvin

• Sandra Mendez Mora

• Naomi Michael

• Logan O’Hara

• Zoe Reif

• Simon Rothwell

• Sara Rulli

• Clementine Simpson

• Nicholas Soderquist

• Blaine Turner

• Sarah Rose Welcher

• Sarah West

Source: Fayetteville Public Schools

NW News on 03/30/2018

Print Headline: Fayetteville students earn most biliteracy awards in state

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