Dedication and Fluency: Eastside Catholic School Valedictorian Earns Dual Diplomas
Dedication and Fluency: Eastside Catholic School Valedictorian Earns Dual Diplomas

Dedication and Fluency:
Eastside Catholic School Valedictorian Earns Dual Diplomas

by EC Communications Team

In addition to graduating on June 5 with the Eastside Catholic School Class of 2023 as valedictorian, Sammy Foote also graduates this June with a secondary diploma, Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera (DELE) or Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language.

Graduating with a Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language demonstrates dedication to learning the language and is internationally recognized across the Spanish-speaking world. The DELE test is a six-hour exam of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

The DELE diploma is officially granted by the Cervantes Institute and approved by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science to individuals who have successfully qualified for the test by demonstrating their Spanish language proficiency.

In eighth grade, Sammy also received the seal of biliteracy from the State of Washington, which typically recognizes high school students “who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing in one or more world languages in addition to English.”

Sammy shared a bit about her journey:

Please tell us about the program you started in kindergarten. When was English introduced into your studies?
The program that I started in kindergarten was at a Spanish immersion elementary school that had the ISA program, which stands for the International Spanish Academy. At this school, they taught us everything in Spanish starting in kindergarten, allowing us to develop fluency very early on. English was first introduced to us in the classroom in third grade when we had about an hour a day of reading and writing practice.

What was the hardest thing about learning two languages?
The hardest thing about learning two languages was not being able to practice Spanish at home. Whenever I took my homework to my mom for help, she couldn’t assist since it was in Spanish.

Tell us a little about how you came to take the DELE test. What does passing the DELE test mean?
The DELE test is just the last part of the ISA program I have participated in since kindergarten. Passing it is essentially an official qualification of my fluency and competency in Spanish which is accepted internationally in schools and the corporate world.

Can you explain how the independent study program came to be and who guided you through the process?
The independent study program started at the end of my junior year when I realized there weren’t any more Spanish classes for me to take at EC since I was in Spanish 5, but I knew I wanted to keep practicing Spanish. With the DELE test coming up for my senior year, Sra. Granda helped me stay on track to ensure I was well-prepared and guided me through the process.

I dream in English, but sometimes there are conversations in Spanish!

What’s next for you? Do your plans include using your language skills in your area of study in college?
I will attend UCLA to major in political science and I will most likely add a minor in Spanish and study abroad in Spain. However, I will definitely try to incorporate the language in whatever career path I decide.

EC World Languages Teacher and Mentor Sr. Granda shared, “Sammy has done great work this year and the years prior! Her commitment is undoubtedly amazing! I was so happy to get another year with Sammy as my student. We collaborated to co-create the content for the independent study program, including preparation for the DELE. Sammy is a fantastic Spanish student who will continue exploring and enjoying the language and culture in the coming years. I can’t wait to see where it all takes her!”

Congratulations to Sammy Foote on this incredible accomplishment!


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