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Back To School For Young Stars Of ‘Moonlight’

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MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) — Fresh from the Oscars, Alex Hibbert, Jaden Piner and Tanisha Cidel, their drama teacher, are back in school, but things are a little different.

Actors Jaden Piner (L) and Alex R. Hibbert attend the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Actors Jaden Piner (L) and Alex R. Hibbert attend the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Norland Middle School students are now Academy Award winners.

“It was a different feel, everybody was saying congratulations, it’s wonderful,” said 13-year-old actor Jaden Piner.

On Sunday, the stars of the Oscar-winning film Moonlight walked the red carpet and took over the Governors Ball, rubbing elbows with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

“I met Andrew Garfield, he is my favorite actor,” said 12-year-old Alex Hibbert. “My favorite part was being on the red carpet.”

The young actors’ recent brush with fame comes natural.

“It was amazing,” said Alex. “Everybody kept shouting our names, I felt very important.”

But perhaps the most important part of the night was when their movie won the Oscar for Best Picture.

“When they said Moonlight, at first, I thought maybe they were trying to be humble and nice, but when they showed the card and said ‘seriously,’ we jumped up and were yelling,” said Jaden.

“There were a lot of people had the shivers, even though I wasn’t talking, I was like, hey, hey people are pointing,” said Alex. “I was very happy!”

The experience of a lifetime was not lost on these 7th graders, or their teacher, who also played a role in the film, and marked it as a very proud moment for Miami.

“It doesn’t get bigger than that,” said drama teacher Tanisha Cidel. “To see that and experience it with them, it was great. I just can’t say how wonderful it was.”

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