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Hollywood Preschool celebrates class of 2022

In caps and gowns the graduates perform a final song for those in attendance. (Photo Damon Scott)

HOLLYWOOD – Kindergarten is just around the corner for the Seminole Tribe’s Hollywood Preschool graduating class of 2021-2022 – 15 youngsters in all.

The Education department hosted a graduation ceremony and party June 8 at the Seminole Estates on the Hollywood Reservation to mark the occasion.

Those graduating were Ethan Alvarado, Victor Baker, Annie Jimmie Billie, Archimedes Bowers, Karter Canellas, Ahzayden Cypress, Maylena Frank, Glazer Tommie Jackson, Kahari Louis, Avianna Osceola, Jemma Osceola-Harding, Rocco Perez, Marilu Sirota, Valentina Stewart and Lisa Wilcox.

“It’s been a crazy two years – to think it’s been that long since we’ve been in person to congratulate our youngest leaders of the tribe,” Hollywood Board Rep. Christine McCall said, reflecting on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rep. McCall told the graduates to look around the room at all the supporters who were in attendance – family, friends and Education staff.

“All these people want to see you succeed and do the most that you can. We’re here to support you, we’re really proud of you. We want to make sure that you’re on your path to success,” she said.

As part of the graduation program, the preschoolers sang songs and performed choreographed dances on stage. Attendees got to watch a video of highlights from the year, produced by Seminole Media Productions. Once dressed in their cap and gown, each walked down a red carpet to the stage to recite a prepared miniature biography of themselves in Mikasuki.

“This has been an amazing year. Not only did they overcome the pandemic, but they reached some amazing milestones,” Dana Rolle, the Hollywood Preschool manager, said to dozens of parents and family members who came to the ceremony.

Rolle said when the year started, some of the preschoolers didn’t know their alphabet, numbers, shapes or colors and some didn’t know how to write their names. She said by the end of the school year each student met or exceeded all their tasks.

At the end of the program the graduates received a diploma and handshake from Hollywood Preschool director Thommy Doud and Rep. McCall. They then returned to the stage to sing a final song of gratitude to all their supporters in the room.

“Are you ready to go to kindergarten?” asked Doud at the end of the song. To which the graduates responded with a loud and boisterous “yeah!”

Then it was party time. The Hollywood water park was opened and barbeque was provided. Each graduate also received a bicycle as a graduation gift.

The graduates perform a song before changing into caps and gowns for the formal ceremony. (Photo Damon Scott)
Victor Baker raises his hand in excitement on stage, with Glazer Tommie Jackson to his left, and Jemma Osceola-Harding to his right. (Photo Damon Scott)
Victor Baker is happy to receive his diploma from Hollywood Board Rep. Christine McCall as Hollywood Preschool director Thommy Doud and Hollywood Preschool manager Dana Rolle look on. (Photo Damon Scott)
An excited Ahzayden Cypress takes to the microphone to recite his biography in Mikasuki. (Photo Damon Scott)
Jemma Osceola-Harding confidently approaches the microphone to recite her biography. (Photo Damon Scott)
Glazer Tommie Jackson walks the red carpet in anticipation of receiving his diploma. (Photo Damon Scott)
Hollywood Board Rep. Christine McCall and Hollywood Preschool director Thommy Doud congratulate Glazer Tommie Jackson on graduating. (Photo Damon Scott)
Archimedes Bowers makes sure his cap stays on tight as he quickly walks to the stage. (Photo Damon Scott)
Annie Billie recites her biography before receiving her diploma. (Photo Damon Scott)
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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 damonscott@semtribe.com.
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