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Trail students achieve academic milestones during graduation

Trail Graduation03TRAIL — The Miccosukee Tribal Office auditorium was filled beyond capacity at the Miccosukee Indian School graduation May 2. Family and friends celebrated students as they made the transition from kindergarten, fifth grade, eighth grade and high school to the next steps in their education.

Dressed in caps and gowns, graduates walked down the aisle as Pomp and Circumstance echoed through the auditorium. Cheers and applause erupted as each proud grad took his or her turn in the spotlight.

The theme of the day was the endless quest for knowledge through education.

“If you have knowledge, you have what the group needs,” said Miccosukee Chairman Colley Billie. “You need to get knowledge, come back and give it to the Tribe. You will become leaders and we will rely on you.”

Principal Manuel Varela pointed out the end result of a lifetime of learning.

“A mind that is stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions,” Varela said. “Congratulations for a job well done.”

Seminole students Omar A. Keeys-Billie, Jamere Osceola, Ava Osceola and Dionah Osceola-Bert joined their Miccosukee peers and received their diplomas from Chairman Billie. Seminole student Draycen Osceola also graduated.


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