BY ALLEN A. BUCHANAN, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG — Parents, relatives and well wishers packed the Lake Vista Recreation Center to cheer for 13 future scientists, space explorers, athletes and educators who graduated from Celebrity Kids Club Too and Celebrity Kids Pinellas last Saturday, June 11.
“The Greatest Love of All” song by Whitney Houston played in the background as the pre-school graduates strolled down the aisle. The cheers and shouts of joy by the parents almost sounded as if it was a high school graduation in a large auditorium.
Cynthia Holmes, Mistress of Ceremony and the former owner of the Celebrity Kids, glowed with pride as she presided over the 29th graduation of the pre-school.
“One of my girls that made me feel so proud of her was Santana Curtis,” said Holmes, who recalled when she was first brought to Celebrity Kids. “She was so tiny. She was one year’s old when she came to us and she blossomed so beautifully like so many others.”
The Celebrity Kids graduation ceremony was a testament to the amazing growth that young people experience in their first four years of life.
All of the graduating pre-school youngsters had an opportunity to showcase how they learned to merge phonic sounds, sight read, spell and identify colors.
Sharing Mistress of Ceremony duties with Holmes, Angela Hinton introduced the commencement speaker, Brandon Williams.
The son of longtime educators Lew and Arthurene Williams, he is a product of Pinellas County schools. At just 26 years old, Williams graduated last September from Stetson Law School and will be on his way to Spain to practice law and work as a professor of English.
“I can recall sitting there where they are,” said Williams, an alumnus of Celebrity Kids.
He encouraged parents to advocate for their children and warned them to step up to the plate because there are plenty of negative outside forces that are willing to do their jobs.
The ceremony concluded with the cutting of the graduation cake and refreshments.
Celebrity Kids Club Too
- Zipporah Byrd- “Most likely To Succeed”
- Santana Curtis- “Validictorian”
- Micah Jones-“Most Improved”
- Zakiya McKinnon- “Salutarian”
- Zakiya Reed- “Best Speller”
- Marcus Vallejos- “Most Likely to Achieve”
- Jayden Willette- “Most Improved”
Celebrity Kids Pinellas
- Zammariyah Bradham- “Most Successful”
- Cherie Bryant- “Salutatorian”
- Laterran Bryant- “Most Likely To Succed”
- Iyanna Green- “Valedictorian”
- Yousef Koko- “Most Improved”
- Mariah Stanislas- “Most Likely to Achieve”