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PECS alums return to their roots

Seventeen high school graduates from the class of 2022 returned to PECS for the traditional grad walk May 20. (Photo Beverly Bidney)

BRIGHTON — Four years after completing eighth grade at Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School, 17 high school graduates returned to their alma mater May 20 for the traditional graduate walk through the halls of the school.

Students from kindergarten through eighth grade lined those halls to applaud the grads and perhaps get some inspiration from the impressive caps and gowns. High fives, hugs and huge smiles were shared between students and teachers as they snaked their way through the PECS breezeways.

This was the fourth year PECS invited the high school grads to celebrate their accomplishments while setting an example for younger students. Previous walks were held in 2017, 2018 and 2019; the pandemic didn’t allow for the event in 2020 and 2021.

The 2022 grad walk was followed with photos and one last goodbye to the students’ elementary and middle school.

Okeechobee High School graduate Kyandra Harris and her baby, Essence Crawford, 1, greet teacher Mindy Wells during the grad walk. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Okeechobee High School graduates Elle Thomas, left, and Adryauna Baker, right, pose with Culture teacher Suraiya Smith during the grad walk. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
Moore Haven High School graduate Pherian Baker hugs a teacher as he walks through the hallways of PECS. (Photo Beverly Bidney)
As graduates walk by, Culture students hold up letters to spell the Creek word “heremahe,” which means “very good.” (Photo Beverly Bidney)
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