Photo collage of images from ESL dinner

Westfield High School students were recognized in June for a number of world language honors, while English language learners of all grade levels and their families joined teachers and administrators for the 42nd Annual English as a Second Language (ESL) Dinner with homemade dishes representing more than 11 countries.

One hundred and twenty WHS 12th graders received the Seal of Biliteracy, an award granted to students who attain proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation.  

WHS sophomore Keira Deignan earned a perfect score on the intermediate level of the National Latin Exam, which is given annually in all 50 states and a number of countries. The distinction of a perfect score was only attained by a very small number of students out of more than 100,000 who took the exam across the world. 

Additionally, 49 WHS students earned a variety of awards and recognitions at all four levels of the National Latin Exam, including 1 Gold Summa Cum Laude Award, 2 Silver Maxima Cum Laude Awards, 2 Magna Cum Laude Awards, and 1 Cum Laude Award for Beginning Latin.  One student earned a Cum Laude Award for Advanced Latin Poetry and, for the Intermediate Latin Exam, there was 1 Gold Summa Cum Laude Award with Perfect Score, 4 Gold Summa Cum Laude Awards, 6 Silver Maxima Cum Laude Awards, and 2 Cum Laude Awards. 

“The students of Westfield High School did well on this year’s National Latin Exam, as they usually do,” says WHS Latin teacher James Rowan.  “I was particularly pleased to see the number of gold and silver medals this year, but, most of all, I was happy to see that Keira Deignan received a perfect score on the intermediate level exam.  It is always great to see the hard work of students like Keira and the other award winners publicly recognized.”

K-12 Supervisor of World Language and ESL Enrique Pincay congratulated the high school award winners, noting “we are very proud of all of these accomplishments.”

Pincay and his team also organized the well-attended ESL dinner on June 5, as staff and families celebrated English language learners at all grade levels. Each family brought an entree or dessert from their native country… Equador, Brazil, Mexico, Ukraine, Italy, France, Germany, Israel, among them. 

“This is a very special night,” Pincay told all gathered for the dinner. “Tonight is about our students.  It’s about the progress they make each year and the dedication they show day after day.”

Superintendent Dr. Raymond González stresses the importance of these educational and cultural celebrations.

“I enjoyed attending the ESL dinner and talking to members of the school community with such diverse backgrounds,” says González. “Congratulations to our English language learners who have completed their programs and to our talented high school linguists for their prestigious awards and recognitions.”