April 15, 2020

Meet the 2020 Lake County Schools’ Alumni Hall of Fame inductees

2.8 min read| Published On: April 15th, 2020|

By James Combs

Meet the 2020 Lake County Schools’ Alumni Hall of Fame inductees

2.8 min read| Published On: April 15th, 2020|

Due to the coronavirus, the Education Foundation of Lake County moved its annual Night of Stars event online this week with a virtual celebration of the district’s inductees into the Alumni Hall of Fame, according to a press release issued by Lake County Schools.

Lake County Schools welcomed its fourth class of Alumni Hall of Fame inductees on  April 14, with a video highlighting each person’s contributions and a congratulatory message from Superintendent Diane Kornegay.

Here are this year’s inductees.

  • Carey Baker, Lake County property appraiser, is a Eustis High School native and 1981 Tavares High School graduate.

    Carey Baker

    While in high school, he joined the family business, the A.W. Peterson Gun Shop in Mount Dora, one of the oldest gun shops in the United States. He joined the Army National Guard, from which he retired in 2013 after having served over 31 years. He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2000 and then again in 2002. In 2004, he won a special election for the 20th District seat in the Florida Senate and was subsequently reelected. He is most known for successfully running for being the first state or federal elected official to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom while simultaneously holding office.

  • Dr. Dan Boggus graduated from Tavares High School in 1975 and went on to earn a

    Dr. Dan Boggus

    medical degree from the University of South Florida. He practices family medicine with Aegis
    Medical Group. Dr. Boggus is considered a pillar in his community because of his over 30 years of service volunteering as the team doctor for the Tavares High School football team tending to sports injuries and generally keeping the team in good health.

  • Margaret Berry Emerson is a 1980 graduate of Leesburg High School. She has served Lake County Schools as an educator and a school counselor for 36 years. Throughout her career, she has received recognition for her interactive homework initiative that landed her on Good

    Margaret Emerson

    Morning America in 1997 and for her work toward increasing graduation rates which, at one time, earned Umatilla High School the highest graduation rates of all Lake County high schools. She had plans to retire in February of 2020, but instead, took a new position as counselor at Tavares High School where she currently serves.

  • Michaela McLean is a 2015 graduate of East Ridge High School and currently holds the title Miss Florida 2019. Using her platform, “Brave & Beautiful: Breaking Free from Behind the

    Michaela McLean

    Screen,” she travels the state to raise awareness for the addictive misuse of social media by young women today as an escalating mental health crisis that breeds social anxiety, depression, negative body image and isolation. She has a three-pronged approach to promoting young women’s social media, in partnership with the Federal Trade Commission, Media Literacy Now and the University of Florida. It is to 1) create positive, purpose-driven media; 2) educate young women through a statewide curriculum teaching transformational strategies on establishing and maintaining healthy habits, and 3) advocate for legislation that implements female-centric programs and funding of advisory councils to facilitate meaningful conversations resulting in positive mental health and productive lifestyles.

    Dr. Julia Nesheiwat

  • Dr. Julia Nesheiwat is a 1993 graduate of Umatilla High School and went on to receive degrees from Stetson University, Georgetown University, and then to earn her Ph.D. in 2014 from the Tokyo Institute of Technology. She currently serves as the U.S. Homeland Security advisor and she is highly regarded for her work in government and in the military. Among her many accomplishments are serving as the deputy special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, strengthening diplomatic efforts to secure the safe return of Americans held hostage overseas, and being appointed deputy assistant secretary of state for implementation in the Bureau of Energy Resources.

For more information on the Lake County Schools Hall of Fame or to view the virtual Hall of Fame and its members, visit https://www.lake.k12.fl.us/our-district/hall-of-fame.




About the Author: James Combs

James Combs was a pillar of Akers Media Group since its inception in 2008. Over the years, he had the honor of interviewing Lake & Sumter County's most fascinating personalities, from innovative business owners to heroic war veterans, bringing their incredible stories to life. Throughout his career, James earned over 50 awards for writing excellence, a testament to his talent and dedication. In 2021, he was inducted into the Akers Media Group Hall of Fame. Sadly, James passed away in 2023 after a courageous battle with cancer. His legacy of storytelling and excellence continues to inspire us all.

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