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Valhalla High School Italian Students Learn From Immigrant

From left to right: Guest speaker Giuseppe Stillo, Italian teacher Vittoria Stillo, Valhalla High School Principal Jon Thomas, Valhalla Middle/High School Principal Kevin McLeod.
From left to right: Guest speaker Giuseppe Stillo, Italian teacher Vittoria Stillo, Valhalla High School Principal Jon Thomas, Valhalla Middle/High School Principal Kevin McLeod. Photo Credit: Valhalla School District

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. -- A college Italian class at Valhalla High School was conducted entirely in Italian as a guest speaker visited with six students in Vittroia Stillo's language class Monday, March 9.

The students in the class were visited by Giuseppe Stillo. Stillo's father moved to America from Italy in 1966. The Italian students recently finished studying a unit on immigration and had discussed the difficulty and experiences of entering a new land.

Throughout the class, Stillo spoke about his experiences as an immigrant, the reasons his family left Italy, and how it affected his life the past five decades.

When his family moved to America in the mid-1960s, Stillo said his father had a hard time adjusting to the new country; however, he now enjoys it and couldn't imagine moving back to Italy. Upon moving to America, Stillo's father encouraged him to learn English, which he did, and it gave him the opportunity to help his family navigate through their time here. At the end of the class, the students practiced speaking Italian and asked Stillo a few questions in his native tongue.

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