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World Languages

Starting a NYSSB Program at Your Non-Public School

Presenters:  Candace Black & Rosemary DeMaio

Original webinar date & time:  Monday, May 13, 2024, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

1 hour of CTLE credit offered.

Webinar description:   Have you been thinking about exploring the idea of starting a NYS Seal of Biliteracy program at your school?  This program has experienced tremendous growth since it was first offered in 2015-16.  In 2023-24, more than 550 NYS high schools (including 11 religious and independent schools) are offering the Seal to their students.  This session will review what the Seal of Biliteracy is, who can earn this distinction, what benefits it brings to students, educators, and schools, as well as what it takes to start a Seal of Biliteracy program.  Co-presented by Rosemary DeMaio, the Seal Coordinator at Preston High School, this webinar will address the specific needs of religious and independent schools as they start to plan for a Seal program.  A wealth of digital resources will be provided, and time will be allotted during the session for questions from participants.  Come and learn about how you can honor your English Language Learners (ELLs), your World Language students, and your Heritage Language Speakers who are developing the 21st century skill of biliteracy.

This webinar was not recorded.  Schools interested in learning more about starting a NYSSB program at their school may watch a similar webinar recorded earlier in the year by clicking here.  For more information on the NYS Seal of Biliteracy, please visit our website or contact


Webinar presenters:

Candace Black is the World Languages Associate in the Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages at the New York State Education Department.  She is currently leading the implementation of the revised NYS World Languages Standards and oversees the NYS Seal of Biliteracy program.  Candace graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in French from SUNY Potsdam and earned both her M.B.A., and M.A.T. from the University of Rochester. A National Board-Certified Teacher, Candace taught French for 21 years and served as an IB Diploma Coordinator. In 2021, she was the recipient of the President’s Award for both NYSAFLT and NYSAWLA and was elected as a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques by the French government.  In all her roles, most especially her current one, Candace is deeply committed to the professional learning and support of World Language teachers and the promotion of the NYS Seal of Biliteracy. 

Rosemary DeMaio is a native Italian speaker and has lived, and studied, both in the United States and in Umbria, Italy.  She received a Bachelor of Arts in Italian and a minor in elementary education from Iona College.  Rosemary obtained a Masters in Special Education from the College of New Rochelle and a certification in Spanish NYS 7-12.  She has taught for twenty-eight years as an elementary education, special education, Italian, and Spanish teacher. For the past seventeen years, Rosemary DeMaio has been teaching Spanish and Italian levels 1-6 at Preston High School.  In addition to teaching, she serves different roles in her school community, including Chairperson of World Languages at Preston, Seal of Biliteracy Coordinator, Coordinator of college classes, Moderator of the Italian Club and Italian Honor Society, and board member of the National Honor Society.  Rosemary is also a board member of the Italian Teachers Association and Italian Planning Board.