BCSD Celebrates More Than 900 English Learners

December 28, 2018 - The Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) hosted the 26th annual English Learner Celebration on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at Walter Stiern Middle School. The theme for the event this year was “Language is My Bridge to the Stars.” The theme helped to motivate students to reach for the stars and use dual languages as they work towards their goals in education and beyond. 

During the year, students with a primary language other than English, work towards meeting English proficiency criteria. More than 900 students have reached this goal so far this year and have been reclassified as English Proficient. Students received a certificate acknowledging their achievement. 

The program Master of Ceremonies was Pedro Garcia with BCSD Extended Learning. The more than 2,000 attendees were treated to a performance by Compton Jr. High Mariachi Students and started the program with a Flag Salute by the Curran Cadet Corps. BCSD Board President, Lillian Tafoya, and Dr. Beatrice Castilleja-Gray, ELL Director, gave attendees a formal welcome. The Keynote Speech was delivered by Alfonso Ceja, Principal at Longfellow, who shared his own story of moving to the United States from Mexico, and how learning the English language was extremely beneficial to his success in academics and his career. Mr. Ceja was surprised during the presentation of awards, as organizers included him on the list of names of students who were receiving their reclassification recognition.  

“This celebration is an annual event for BCSD, and we hope to continue this event for years to come.  We are so proud of our 900-plus students that will receiving their certificates today,” said Dr. Castilleja-Gray. 

Congratulations to all reclassified students. We wish you much success as you continue to use language as your bridge to the stars.


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