February 26, 2024

Lake County Schools 2024 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

1.8 min read| Published On: February 26th, 2024|

By Cindy Peterson

Lake County Schools 2024 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

1.8 min read| Published On: February 26th, 2024|

Lake County Schools announced the induction of four outstanding graduates into the Alumni Hall of Fame. These individuals have demonstrated exceptional leadership, dedication, and achievement in their respective fields, serving as shining examples for current and future generations of students.

Among the honorees is Dr. Alvin B. Jackson, a 1979 graduate of Eustis High School, recognized for his impactful contributions as a community leader and public servant. Dr. Jackson’s visionary initiatives, including the establishment of Lake County Day in Tallahassee, have propelled advancements in local governance and education, leading to significant improvements in student outcomes.

Derrick Manning, Mount Dora High class of 1979, will also be honored. As the assistant superintendent for Clayton County Schools in Georgia, Manning has been recognized for his transformative leadership. He was recognized by the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers’ Association as the High School Principal of the Year during his first year as principal and received the Gold Improvement Award from “High Schools that Work” during the organization’s 2004 National Conference. Manning’s ability to close the achievement gap, raise test scores, and enhance student achievement has earned him praise from colleagues and peers alike.

Also to be honored is Dr. Patricia Gale Spear, a 1960 alumna of Dora High School, renowned for her groundbreaking research in virology and her pioneering role as the first female department chair at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. Dr. Spear’s outstanding scientific achievements have earned her recognition from prestigious organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Joining the ranks of esteemed inductees is Linda Watts, a 1964 graduate of Umatilla High School, celebrated for her lifelong commitment to youth programs and community service. Mrs. Watts’s tireless dedication to empowering students through initiatives such as Florida’s Hometown, USA, and the Leesburg Scholarship Program has positively impacted countless lives.

“Next month I will join other district leaders to congratulate each of our inductees, and thank them for setting a glowing example for today’s students,” Diane Kornegay, Superintendent of Lake County Schools, says. “It’s a special way that we celebrate our own. Our hope is that their excellence will inspire the next generation of students.”

The induction ceremony is scheduled for March 5, where district leaders will join in honoring each inductee and expressing gratitude for their outstanding contributions. For further information about the Alumni Hall of Fame and past inductees, please visit the Lake County Schools website.

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About the Author: Cindy Peterson

Originally from the small town of Berryville, Arkansas, Cindy has become a multimedia specialist in journalism, photography, videography and video editing.

She has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Central Arkansas and is a correspondent for The Daily Commercial, LakeFront TV and Beacon College’s PBS talk show, “A World of Difference,” where she received an Anthem Award and Telly Award.

When she isn’t working, Cindy spends time with her husband, Ryan, and son, David, traveling and taking photos of landscapes and wildlife.

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