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Pemayetv Emahakv students receive second quarter honors

By Naji Tobias

BRIGHTON — At Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School (PECS), scores of students from kindergarten through eighth grades received a slew of academic honors on Jan. 23.

To culminate the Tribal school’s second quarter of the 2011-2012 academic year, many of them were honored for earning at least a 3.0 GPA (“B” average), while others were honored for scoring perfect marks with a 4.0 GPA (“A” average).

During the ceremony, Chairman James E. Billie spoke of his appreciation for the students, teachers and staff for their efforts to achieve academic greatness.

“This school is one of the finest in the state,” Chairman Billie said. “When we honor and recognize our kids like this, it inspires them to go higher. I have watched their progress, and I know they’ll continue to achieve great success in the classroom.”

Students received academic awards for craftsmanship, effort, improvement and good grades. Students earned Bronze Awards for a 3.0-3.49 GPA, Silver for a 3.5-3.99 GPA and Gold for a 4.0 GPA.

They were also recognized for participation in their Creek classes, receiving a variety of awards for their efforts to learn their Seminole language.

In addition, middle school students received special recognition for their efforts in Physical Education and History, while kindergarten students received recognition for making the 100’s Club, a special award given to those proficient in knowing their letters, sounds and sight words.

“We are very happy so many of our students earned academic awards for the second quarter,” PECS Principal Brian Greseth said during the awards ceremony. “I feel we can attribute the students’ success to hard work by the students, parent assistance at home and great instruction from our teachers and staff.”

PECS fourth-grade student Kamani Smith was one of many students recognized for his work in the classroom. Smith earned the Gold Award for achieving all A’s on his second quarter report card.

“I read at home every day after school,” he said. “My parents tell me to finish all my homework before I do anything else.”

Smith’s mother, Tribal citizen Suraiya Smith, said she believes students need a solid education and work ethic in academics.

“I just pushed it on Kamani since he was a little baby,” she said. “I told him that with education, he can be whatever he wants to be later on in his life. So far, it’s showing with how well he’s doing in the classroom. I’m so proud of him for that.”

PECS administrative assistant Michele Thomas encourages students to keep working hard, especially as they prepare to take their FCAT and final exams in the final half of the school year.

“We are very proud of the level our students achieved on this grading period,” Thomas said. “I want to encourage all students to work hard and set a high goal for the third grading period. Make your daily priority your school studies. Our community and Tribe have made it their priority, and we owe it back to them to work hard every day and do our very best.”

Principal Greseth encouraged the students as well.

“Keep up the good work,” he said. “Your teachers, parents and administrators are all very proud of your hard work.”

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