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Six influential women honored by Hollywood preschoolers

From left to right are Timika Reid, Dr. Vandhana Kiswani-Barley, Hollywood Board Rep. Christine McCall, Karen Two-Shoes, Leona Tommie and Sergine Bourdeau. (Photo Damon Scott)

HOLLYWOOD – The staff and students of the Hollywood Reservation’s Preschool held a special event March 4 to recognize six women who are influential in the tribal community.

Dana Rolle, the Hollywood Preschool Center manager, emceed a short program at the school in front of an audience of Education department staff and about 30 preschool students. Those honored included a trio of tribal members – Hollywood Board Rep. Christine McCall, Karen Two-Shoes and Leona Tommie – along with Timika Reid, Dr. Vandhana Kiswani-Barley and Sergine Bourdeau.

The event was designed to coincide with “Women’s History Month,” which began in 1978 and takes place each March. The month is designated for the recognition of women who have contributed throughout history and in contemporary society.

“Each of these women have contributed their time, effort, knowledge and experience in making the tribe a better community for the Seminole Tribe of Florida members and a better workplace for the Seminole Tribe of Florida staff,” Rolle, who chose the honorees, said.

Hollywood Preschool teacher Nicole Terry sits with students Kion T. (red shirt), Ja’Nae W. (gray shirt) and Ruby B. (pink shirt). (Photo Damon Scott)

Rep. McCall made history on June 7, 2021, when she was sworn in with three other Seminole women to leadership positions at the tribe – the most in its history. She is a former Miss Florida Seminole and has volunteered her time as a stage director for the annual Miss Florida Seminole/Jr. Miss Florida Seminole princess pageant.

Two-Shoes has worked for the tribe since 2017. She is a registered dietician and a tribalwide nutrition coordinator. Two-Shoes went back to school at age 47 for dietetics and nutrition at Keiser University. She graduated summa cum laude and as valedictorian in 2017. Being a dietician is personal to her as she was diagnosed with diabetes in 2001. Two-Shoes is known for sharing a message of healthy living with tribal members and for those with diabetes – a condition that affects Native Americans more than the general population.

Tommie has held many positions at the tribe – starting as a switchboard operator and later in early childhood education. At the Hollywood Preschool, she has been a parent involvement coordinator, interim director and director. She has volunteered extensively over the years for organizations that assist the homeless, those in poverty, senior citizens, and children, among others.

Preschool students cheer on Leona Tommie as she walks to receive a certificate and flowers. (Photo Damon Scott)

Reid is the director of human resources and has worked for the tribe for 11 years. She has been a recruiting coordinator, human resources program specialist and administrative manager. Reid has been the director since November 2020. She is credited with successfully leading the department and the tribe’s employees through the challenges presented by the pandemic.

Kiswani-Barley is a family physician and the executive director of the tribe’s Health and Human Services (HHS) department. She has worked at the tribe for three and a half years. Tribal leadership has previously recognized her work to keep tribal members healthy and safe during Covid-19. Kiswani-Barley volunteers her time to several organizations and began her own foundation to provide skills and education for girls who have been abandoned and/or molested in Jamaica, where she previously lived.

Bourdeau is known as “Ms. Gigi” to Preschool students and staff. She has worked for the tribe since 2016, and has a degree in early childhood education and a master’s degree in curriculum and assessment.

“Ms. Gigi is an exceptional early childhood teacher, and takes pride in making sure her children are given the best learning opportunities through incorporating creative and challenging activities into her daily routine,” Rolle said.

More is at seminoleeducation.com.

Hollywood Board Rep. Christine McCall is cheered on by Preschool students and staff. (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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