February 6, 2022 – During this week of Black History Month, we take the opportunity to recognize one of our local community leaders, Mrs. Linda “Mama Hawk” Shepherd-Miller from Lake Minneola High School. In 1986, Shepherd-Miller began her career as a speech/language teacher. Through drive and determination, she was appointed Dean and Assistant Principal for various schools in Lake County. In 2010, Mrs. Shepherd-Miller became the Principal of Lake Minneola High School where she received her nickname “Mama Hawk.” Her love and passion for the student body permeate the halls of Lake Minneola High School, an energy that has been transferred throughout the faculty. In 2019, Mrs. Shepherd-Miller led Lake County’s only A-rated high school, and was recognized as Lake County’s Principal of the year for 2020-2021. Mama Hawks devotion to education leaves a lasting impact on our children every day and why the future of South Lake County is in good hands. Thank you, Mrs. Linda “Mama Hawk” Shepherd-Miller, for being a beacon of hope for this community.
Black History Month is an annual celebration where the achievements of African Americans are recognized in U.S. History. Carter G. Woodson, a scholar and historian, played an intricate role as founder of the “Association of the Study of Negro Life and History.” In 1915, Woodson led this association to facilitate the establishment of “Negro History Week.” In 1926, This group strategically selected the second week of February to correspond with the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglas. Because of these efforts and dedicating his life to African American history, Woodson is recognized nationwide as the “Father of Black History.” In 1976, the first African American History Month proclamation was issued by President Gerald Ford paving the way for U.S. presidents to issue and recognized February as Black History Month.