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Ahfachkee celebrates kindergarten class

Siya Osceola receives her certificate for completing kindergarten June 1 at the Ahfachkee School kindergarten celebration.
Siya Osceola receives her certificate for completing kindergarten June 1 at the Ahfachkee School kindergarten celebration.

BIG CYPRESS — Twenty-three fidgety members of the high school class of 2028 jump started their future during a kindergarten celebration June 1 at the Ahfachkee School.

The proud now former kindergarteners lit up the cafeteria with their energy and enthusiasm as they performed songs and accepted their certificates, which were presented by kindergarten teachers Renee Barry and Brenda Hummingbird.

“Congratulations for getting this far,” said Josh Jumper, Big Cypress Council Rep Administrative Manager. “Continue to be good kids; the future is very bright for you guys.”

Big Cypress Board Rep Joe Frank addressed the parents in attendance.

“These kids are young and open to learning,” he said. “Push them to stay in school and finish.”

Kindergarten graduate Clinton Billie seems more interested in the tassel on his cap than the kindergarten celebration at the Ahfachkee School June 1.
Kindergarten graduate Clinton Billie seems more interested in the tassel on his cap than the kindergarten celebration at the Ahfachkee School June 1.

The 2015-16 Ahfachkee kindergarten enrollment was so large it was divided into two classes. Barry and Hummingbird guided the students through their first year of academics, while reaping the benefits of teaching.

“They can make your day with just a hug,” Hummingbird said.

During the celebration, many of the young students struggled to remain focused. For some, the paper tassel on their caps proved to be a distraction, others contorted their bodies in the chairs yet still remained seated, some waved to family and friends, and others, the quiet ones, paid close attention.

After a rousing performance of “I am a Promise” at full volume, Pastor Salaw Hummingbird, of Big Cypress First Baptist Church, gave the commencement speech.

“Our kids are very important to us,” he said. “They are all different but the bible says we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. They speak from their hearts and you never know what they will say. Every one of these kids is very special; like the song, they are a promise from God.”

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Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at beverlybidney@semtribe.com.
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