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PECS honors its alumni with annual grad walk

BRIGHTON — Before they walk into the next chapter of their lives, former Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School students gladly returned to the school on May 22 for an afternoon of appreciation, congratulations and reminiscing.

Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School principal Brian Greseth joins his former students for a selfie as the school honored its alumni from the class of 2019. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

It is an annual rite of passage each May at PECS as the pre-K through grade 8 school provides a classy hero’s welcome to its alumni who are about to graduate from high school.

This year’s participants were seniors from Moore Haven High School (Andrew Fish, Kano Puente, Conner Thomas and Aiden Tommie), Okeechobee High School (Krysta Burton, Cady Osceola and Lucas Osceola) and Lake Placid High School (Raeley Matthews). Each donned graduation caps and gowns in their high school colors. All plan to attend higher education institutions.

Despite it being an annual occurance, emotions still fill the air; proof of that came from Principal Brian Greseth, who teared up a bit while telling the students how proud he is of them and their accomplishments. Other staff members provided similar sentiments.

The seniors sat back and enjoyed fond memories of their days at PECS thanks to a video made by teacher Quentin Pritchard. From field trips to culture days to athletics and everything else in between, hundreds of photos captured the spirit of PECS’ class of 2015.

After they made a victory lap past all the school’s classrooms, which had students and teachers lined up with cheers, high-fives and hugs, the students had two more send-off moments. They shared memories with former PECS teacher Sarah Williams through a FaceTime chat and took a group selfie with Greseth for one final memory.

This year’s grad walk participants at Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School form a half-circle at midcourt in the school’s gymnasium on May 22 in Brighton. The high school seniors are, from left, Cady Osceola (Okeechobee), Aiden Tommie (Moore Haven), Krysta Burton (Okeechobee), Kano Puente (Moore Haven), Raeley Matthews (Lake Placid), Andrew Fish (Moore Haven), Lucas Osceola (Okeechobee) and Conner Thomas (Moore Haven).
(Photo Kevin Johnson)
High school seniors from the class of 2019 walk through a corridor at Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School, where they attended elementary and middle school. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Students and staff cheer for Krysta Burton and Raeley Matthews during the annual grad walk at PECS. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. Contact Kevin at

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