On Tuesday, June 15, HBAS staff and students gathered in classrooms and online to salute students who completed our ESL Level 4 class. This achievement was especially sweet as our students had to adapt first to online instruction and then a hybrid learning environment.
The Promotion Ceremony featured the same technology used in ESL classrooms this year. With Microsoft Teams and the Owl classroom cameras, our students and staff were joined by administrators and community partners who wanted to congratulate our Level 4 Promoters.
Assistant Principal Courtney Winford encouraged students to continue their education at HBAS, reminding students that “High School Diploma/GED is here waiting with open arms!” Assistant Principal Jason Ross announced a $100 voucher that promoting ESL students could use towards one of our Career Technical Education classes.
ESL Promoters were also congratulated by our partners at Golden West College and Coastline College. Andrew Ji from Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) was “proud that everyone got to this day despite the challenges of remote learning.”
The ceremony headed to our ESL classrooms for the presentation of our Level 4 promoters. Teachers announced each student, with cheers in the classroom and across the Teams App. When presenting promotion certificates, Level 4 teachers shared about the challenges students overcame, their roles in the class and their plans beyond the ESL program.
We then heard speeches from our ESL scholarship winners. Fabian Calapaqui came to the US from Ecuador in 2019. He recalled his first days at work, struggling to understand his coworkers and nervous to speak in public. He shared that studying English at HBAS was “one of the best decisions I have made.” Now Fabian is “an active participant in my work meetings and no longer afraid to communicate with Americans.” His hard work has paid off: “last month, I finally got a promotion with my job!”
Our next scholarship winner, Sara Mokhtar Massoumi, “left behind everything in Iran” when she came here 2010. She didn’t have knowledge of the culture and daily life in America, and often “felt like Alice in Wonderland.” Through her work at the Huntington Beach Adult School, she found her confidence. Now she can “talk in presentations in class and go to the bank and ask questions.” She is moving on to ESL 5 at HBAS and will pursue her dream of attending nursing school.
A special thanks to Quang La for continuing to fund our ESL scholarships. We’re excited to see how they continue to learn and grow. As College and Career Specialist Valerie Beachley said, “we want you to stay in touch, because you’re always family here at HBAS.” We will continue to support these students on their next steps.