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Ahfachkee wins SECME teamwork award

BIG CYPRESS — Ahfachkee middle school students brought home the JJ Teamwork Award from the SECME Competition on March 16 in Broward County.

The Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering, founded in 1975, is an alliance of K-12 educators, universities, industry and government partners committed to engaging and preparing more minorities and girls for college and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Overall, 109 Broward County schools participated in the competition in some capacity. On the day of the event, 82 teams competed at Cooper City High School. The theme was Star Wars. The Ahfachkee teams participated in Banner, Mousetrap Powered Cars and Water Rockets competitions.

The “JJ” Teamwork Award gauges how well the team works together. Judges, volunteers and community partners spent the day judging the criteria for the award, which included team spirit, sportsmanship, character and SECME citizenship.

“Our students are setting an amazing example out in the community. We are very proud of our middle school students who participated,” Principal Dorothy Cain wrote in an email.

Members of the Ahfachkee teams were fourth-graders Jaleesa Hill and Thelma Tigertail; fifth-graders Curtis Smith, Layla Billie, Tommi Stockton, Lena Cypress, Sautva Billie and Tahnia Billie; seventh-grader Thomas Tigertail and eighth-grader Ramona Jimmie.

Mrs. Oliva, Jalessa Hill, Laylah Billie, Thomas Tigertail, Tommi Stockton, Tahnia Billie, Ramona Jimmie, Lena Cypress, Ms. Lampon and Curtis Smith. (Courtesy Ahfachkee School)
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

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