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Big Cypress preschoolers ready for Ahfachkee

Graduation02BIG CYPRESS — The 15 members of the Big Cypress Preschool graduating class of 2014 are officially ready to attend Ahfachkee School’s prekindergarten program come fall.

The preschool held its graduation ceremony May 16 at the Boys & Girls Club in front of a camera-wielding crowd eager to document the occasion.

“The kids are going to be deeply missed,” said Shirley Clay, Preschool manager. “They are all special little kids and I enjoyed them all.”

The 3- and 4-year-olds practiced diligently for two months before the ceremony; they performed musical skits, sang songs in Mikasuki and English, and with the help of the Culture Department, introduced themselves individually to the audience in Mikasuki.

The group of children proudly and excitedly walked down the aisle to receive their diplomas, declaring them ready for the next step along their academic journeys.

“This is like a head start for them,” Clay said. “It gets them used to going to school every day.”

The class of 2014 graduates: Kysley’ana Anderson, J’La Amancia Billie, Brysen Billie, Joshua Billie, Mahayla Billie, Zayden Cypress, Danae Gilkes, Drake Green, Kalaney Hannahs, John Hall, Casidi Motlow, Dustin Osceola, Bernard Robbins III, Terrance Robbins and Randy Rueda Jr.


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