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Xaydrien Billie Bowers recognized with ‘Star Student’ award

Xaydrien Billie Bowers, second from right, stands on stage with four other awardees from Highpoint Academy. (Photo Damon Scott)

MIAMI – The Seminole Tribe’s Xaydrien Billie Bowers was recognized with a 2022-2023 ISSF “Star Student” award at a luncheon April 26 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center. About 600 students and family members attended the event.

Billie Bowers is a seventh grader at Highpoint Academy’s Coral Way campus in Miami, a pre-K through eighth grade private school that is a member of the Independent Schools of South Florida (ISSF). He’s attended the school since kindergarten.

“Xaydrien is an outstanding seventh grader who sets an example for others to follow,” his congratulatory letter from Coral Way campus director Jiliann De Villiers, read. “He has demonstrated excellence in school and always has a positive attitude.”

“I was surprised, I wasn’t expecting it,” Billie Bowers said of receiving the award. “I thought it was going to go to my friend.”

Billie Bowers said art is his favorite school subject. He likes to do drawings of angels and demons.

“I got a little teary. I was really happy for him, because it’s something big and new,” Big Cypress Board Rep. Nadine Bowers, his grandmother, said. “He’s got such a good mom.”

Rep. Bowers said he’s one of nine grandchildren, eight boys and one girl. Billie Bowers’ mother, Kayla Bowers; his father, Tony Billie; and his grandmother, Monica Cypress, were also at the luncheon to show support and congratulate their “Star Student.”

“These children are shining stars and they always will be. They are our luminaries that light the way and show the path,” ISSF board secretary Barbara Picazo, said prior to the students walking across a stage to receive award medals. “We appreciate in this day of, kind of self centeredness, to celebrate students who are doing something that reach other people and who are looking to give their school, their family and their community a good name.”

The ISSF awards ceremony hadn’t been held in-person for two years due to the pandemic.

From left to right are Monica Cypress, Tony Billie, Xaydrien Billie Bowers, Kayla Bowers, and Big Cypress Board Rep. Nadine Bowers. Jarrell Tiger-Bowers is in the stroller. (Photo Damon Scott)
Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at