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Teacher profile: Sherrelle Brown

By Christine McCall

HOLLYWOOD — One of the great resources the Tribe provides for its parents and youth is a preschool located right on the reservation. From infants to age 5, the children get to interact with fellow students and learn about numbers, letters and most importantly, their culture. With the help of one of the dedicated head teachers, Sherrelle Brown, students get their first classroom experiences.

Brown began her position at the Hollywood Preschool in November 1999 after discovering the job listing in a local newspaper. She decided to apply to gain more experience while earning her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. In her second year at Florida Atlantic University, she began her teaching career at the Hollywood Preschool. While being a teacher’s aide for the 2-year-old class at the preschool, Brown also interned for non-Tribal school Hollywood Central Elementary.

“It became challenging working with the pre-K, and I liked that,” Brown said.

Soon she discovered her love for working with young children.

“It’s a great experience and I love working with the children,” Brown said. “You nurture them and watch them grow.”

Brown teaches preschoolers a daily curriculum of letters and numbers recognition using the Letter People curriculum. In addition, Brown emphasizes the importance of culture in the classroom.

“I learned a lot about the culture,” Brown said. “I learned how to say the Pledge of Allegiance in [Mikasuki]. We have culture and language class every day.”

The children also make Seminole crafts, with beadwork being a popular choice. Brown highlighted incorporating culture into daily activities as one of the main differences between her experiences with a Tribal school versus a non-Tribal school.

After 13 years at the Hollywood Preschool, Brown’s passion for teaching Tribal youth continues to grow. Visiting her classroom proves that the children respect her and take interest in her teaching style.

“The most gratifying thing about teaching here is when the children come back to visit,” she said. “You get to see the impact you’ve made.”

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