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Hollywood Preschool grads eager for elementary school

Graduation03HOLLYWOOD — Eighteen Hollywood Preschool graduates celebrated the completion of their first years of school during a May 21 graduation ceremony at Tribal Headquarters auditorium.

“The most important thing they learn is to love learning,” said Ilene Miller, Hollywood Preschool program manager. “That’s the foundation to be a successful student when they leave here.”

The Culture Department plays a big part of the preschool curriculum. The graduates demonstrated their culture and language skills by reciting the pledge of allegiance in Mikasuki to the delight of family and friends in attendance.

“Graduation is a wonderful opportunity to bring the families together to share in the joy as we celebrate all of the ways the child has grown and showcase some of the things they have learned during their time in preschool,” Miller said.

The graduation program also included Dr. Seuss skits, songs and slideshow presentations. Graduates walked onstage, received their diplomas and shook hands with Hollywood Councilman Chris Osceola, Brighton Board Rep. Larry Howard, Big Cypress Board Rep. Joe Frank and Immokalee Board Liaison Dorothy Scheffler.

“They are excited to move on,” said Amber Hyatt, preschool curriculum coordinator. “And they’re ready.”

Graduation program mistress of ceremonies Sally Tommie recognized parents for the important part they play in their children’s education.

“You deserve the applause because you send your kids to school to acclimate them to the world,” Tommie said. “Our children are precious gifts from God, and it’s incumbent upon us to do the right things for them.”

As a father himself, Councilman Osceola knows the importance of spending quality time with children.

“The more time you spend with them today, the more it will serve them tomorrow,” he said. “They are the future of the Tribe and are tomorrow’s leaders. The time you spend with them goes a long way down the road.”

The Class of 2014: Taina Aquino, Jayla Billie, Tatum Billie, Adrian Cypress-Ramirez, Taven Edwards, Free Gowen, Darrell Jackson, Meadow Johns, Talen Jumper, Charleze Osceola, Daveny Osceola-Hahn, Dehlila Pulido, Ja’Teija Stewart, Jordyn Tomattis, Sam Two Shoes, Logan Wilcox, DeLilah Young and Elijah Yzaguirre.


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