Cape Verde Delegation Visits LHS During Tour of US

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Lucas Gallo

(Lucas Gallo ) The delegation from Cape Verde toured LHS on Tuesday. (left to right School Committee member Brandon Robbins, Cape Verde Ambassador to the US José Luis Livramento, School Committee member Ronald Houle,  LHS Principal Dr. Steven Dubzinski, Chairperson of the World Language Department Leslie LaJoie, His Excellency Jorge Santos, Minister of Communities, Heminio Muniz,  Consul General of Cape Verde to the United States. School Committee member Heidi Bible and Advisor to the Minister Miguel Sousa )

Lucas Gallo and Staff

This week,  the Leominster High School’s World Language department welcomed a delegation from Cape Verde that included such dignitaries as His Excellency Jorge Santos, Minister of Communities, José Luis Livramento, Ambassador of Cape Verde to the United States (Former CV Minister of Education) and Herminio Muniz,  Consul General of Cape Verde to the United States.

His Excellency Jorge Santos, Minister of Communities, is visiting the United States on official state business, and Leominster was honored to have our high school chosen as a stop on their tour.

The Minister of Communities, who at one time served as the Speaker of the House  (and acting President of Cape Verde), His Excellency Jorge Santos,  and his fellow members of the Cape Verde delegation arrived at 10 AM, Tuesday morning and were welcomed by LHS Principal Dr. Steven Dubzinski, three school committee members: Brandon Robbins, Melissa Bible, and Ronald Houle, as well as several staff members and student guides.

They began their tour of LHS in the auditorium where His Excellency Jorge Santos addressed Leominster High School students and staff virtually to discuss the importance of the world languages.  From there they toured several shops in CTEi where they were joined by CTEi Principal Daniel Bachant and Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella.

Two world language students, Laticia Godinho and Amanda Sobrinho, served as translators for the group. Later, the Minister praised their efforts with personalized certificates signed by him.

Cape Verde is a set of islands off the coast of Africa that Portugal once owned. According to World Language teacher Dr. Julio deCarvalho, who is from Cape Verde, “There are more Cape Verdeans across the globe than there are in Cape Verde.”

Cape Verde is a series of islands in the central Atlantic that total over 4000 square miles. Settled in the 1400s by Portugal, the islands served as an important stop for explorers traveling to the New World. It has been home to Jews seeking refuge during World War II, and in 2007,  was one of only 3 nations to be recognized for moving up in rank, out of least developed countries, by the United Nations.

Today, as a stable, diverse and democratic nation, Cape Verdean students learn several languages in school, including Cape Verdean, Portuguese, English and Chinese, to name a few.

As the nation grows on the world stage, they have been making an effort to forge cultural partnerships within the United States. According to Minister Santos, “For many reasons, the Americans have earned eternal Cape Verdean gratitude.”

The Minister explained he is here in the US and at LHS to form “a better relationship with Leominster High and Cape Verde and hopes to grow the friendship,” between the two.

The delegation toured the Auto Technology and HVAC shops before speaking to students and staff in the media center.

The school played music from Cape Verde when they entered the media center and the delegation was presented with several gifts from the school, including a t-shirt that was printed in our graphic arts shop with the Minister’s name on the back.

In return, they presented the school with an atlas and other Cape Verdean traditional gifts.

The Minister said he sees that “the future will only grow the bond between us,” and expects the relationship to “grow quickly” and officially invited the Leominster School system and community to visit Cape Verde.

In a letter to the school administration following the visit, School Committee member Brandon Robbins said meeting the visiting delegates “truly was an amazing experience.”

Dr. Leslie Lajoie, Chair of the World Language Department and Dr. Julio deCarvalho were congratulated on their efforts to coordinate this visit.

LHS Principal Steven Dubzinski added, “The delegation from Cape Verde was impressed with our school, students, and staff.  We hope this is simply another step in establishing a great global relationship with Cape Verde and other countries as Leominster High School celebrates our diversity.”

The Cape Verde delegation has several high-level meetings in New York and New Jersey and is being interviewed by the United Nations’ radio.

 

The Cape Verde delegation tours the shops in LHS CTEi. (From left: School Committee member Brandon Robbins,   Special Advisor to the Minister Jaqueline   Marquis, LHS Principal Dr. Steven Dubzinski, Advisor to the Minister Miguel Sousa, School Committee member Ronald Houle, Cape Verde Ambassador to the US José Luis Livramento, Mayor Dean Mazzarella,  His Excellency Jorge Santos, Minister of Communities, CTEi Principal Daniel  Bachant, Heminio Muniz,  Consul General of Cape Verde to the United States, Chairperson of World Language Leslie LaJoie, School Committee member Heidi Bible, HVAC instructors Edward Ordway and Michael Cook. (Lucas Gallo)

 

 

 

(Lucas Gallo ) The delegation from Cape Verde toured LHS on Tuesday.
(left to right School Committee member Brandon Robbins, Cape Verde Ambassador to the US José Luis Livramento, School Committee member Ronald Houle,  LHS Principal Dr. Steven Dubzinski, Chairperson of the World Language Department Leslie LaJoie, His Excellency Jorge Santos, Minister of Communities, Heminio Muniz,  Consul General of Cape Verde to the United States. School Committee member Heidi Bible and Advisor to the Minister Miguel Sousa )