Spanish class holds party for ESP seniors

64 students awarded bilingual recognition from state


Oliver Smith

Senior Emma Amon receives a bilingual seal from Spanish teacher Hanna Anderson June 3. All students graduating in the Extended Spanish Program (ESP) received bilingual seals.

Tobias Khabie and Jacob Perszyk

After celebrating with the peers he had been in class with since kindergarten, senior Jack Fredrickson said he enjoyed being able to acknowledge the work he and his classmates put in through their years in the Extended Spanish Program (ESP).

“We all kind of went through (the spanish program) together and it was not the easiest thing ever,” Fredrickson said. “It’s fun to have all of us celebrating and having one last hurrah before graduation.”

According to spanish teacher Hanna Anderson, she and other spanish teachers threw a party for all of the graduating ESP seniors, as they achieved the bilingual seal provided by the Minnesota Department of Education.

“In the past, we didn’t used to have the certificate, it was just an award on their transcript by the Minnesota Department of Education. I thought it would be a better idea to have something more for students this year, so this is the first ceremony and I hope that we are going to do it every year,” Anderson said.

It’s fun to have all of us celebrating and having one last hurrah before graduation.”

— Jack Fredrickson

Senior Evelyn Gutzke said it was bittersweet to have one last sendoff for the tight-knit group the students have built through the ESP program.

“It’s melancholy seeing all of these people that I’ve been with since I was little and I’ve known them my whole life,” Gutzke said. “We’ve all been through this together and it’s such a unique experience to just see all of these people and be together.”

Students were also given letters they had written to themselves in fifth grade that were saved for when they were seniors. According to senior Claire Bargman, she enjoyed getting to read her letter with her friends to see how their lives have changed.

“It’s funny to hear stories that people wrote in fifth grade and we’re still friends with some of those people,” Bargman said. “That’s really funny to see how things have changed over time.”

Gutzke said she is thankful not only for having the resources to become fluent in two languages, but also for the community the students built over their 12 years together.

“I’m very grateful for my experience that PSI has given me, especially this group of people (because) we’re all so different and we’ve all gone (to) so many different places,” Gutzke said. “But we share one like personality trait — that’s being completely fluent in a second language.”