In the first year of North Dakota’s “Seal of Biliteracy” program, 59 graduating high school seniors throughout the state qualified for recognition through the program. State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said in a press release she was pleased with the initial results.

Of those 59 students recognized, 10 came from Bismarck High School and eight came from Mandan high school.

The seals are given to graduating students who prove they are proficient not only in English, but in a second language as well. Looking at this year recipients, 28 showed their ability to read, write and speak in Spanish, 17 were fluent in Latin, 13 in French, and one in German.

Once chosen for the honor, the student will have the seal put on their high school diploma and it will be noted in their transcript.

School districts are responsible for applying for the recognition on behalf of their students, which means there are likely more students who could qualify for the distinction. Awareness of the program is likely to see participation increase, and Baesler is confident the program will continue to grow in future school years.