The Lincoln Park South Lake Alliance was established as a 501(c)(3) in July 2020 to formalize the efforts started by community members who formed the Lincoln Park Impact Committee. The goal with the Alliance is to discuss community needs, establish plans to execute programs & projects around said needs and work in collaboration for those plans to come to fruition.
The Lincoln Park Impact Committee was formed shortly after community pastors, leaders, and citizens who attended the historical Lincoln Park School, now known as Clermont Elementary, were informed that the school would be closed in 2023. Clermont Elementary will be closing in 2023 when the Lake County School Board builds the new Aurelia M. Cole Academy K-8 School. This is now a subcommittee under the Alliance that will focus on preserving Clermont Elementary as a historical building. The goal is for the building to remain in the community and function as a Center for Education and the Arts. The Center would provide Employment Training/Entrepreneurship, the Arts, and Recreation to all of South Lake.
The Impact Committee members and supporters believe South Lake is in need of a facility where everyone can come together to build community, close education gaps, provide employment training and leadership skills, collaborate, create and interact through the arts and recreation activities.
Building community through creativity, collaboration, and access to life changing opportunities in South Lake County.
To focus on enrichment and healthy community interactions through creativity and collaboration for all generations.
Lincoln Park School History
The history is really the history of two schools, Clermont-Minneola School and Lincoln Park School. Both schools were started by community groups interested in the education of their children.
James S. Townsend Sr organized the first Negro school in 1902. The schoolhouse was a one-room building, on a hill, halfway between Clermont and Minneola. The first teacher was George DeVaughn, brother to Mrs. Sally Townsend. He earned a salary of $15 per month for a three-month school term, January 15th through April 15th. The 1st school term started with nine children. The school moved to a home owned by the Townsend family on Chestnut Street in 1906 with thirteen children attending that term.
Lincoln Park began as the Clermont All Black School. Citizens donated the labor to build a three-room school for grades 1 through 8 on Fifth Street just north of Hwy 50 on Lake Dot. It operated from four to six-month terms. In 1932 the school term was extended to eight months and then 9 months in 1937. The Fifth Street School was moved to Lincoln Park in 1937.
The three-room building burned and was replaced with a larger building. By 1960 Lincoln Park had expanded and was able to house a high school. Mr. William N. McKinney, for whom the park at Bloxam and East Desoto is named, was the first Principal of the high school. Lincoln Park provided a lunchroom program as well as head start. The Head Start program was 75% federally funded with Mrs. Dorothy McGriff as head of the program. In 1970, full integration was completed, and Lincoln Park became Clermont Middle School.
Clermont Elementary moved to its current site January 1996 (the former Clermont Middle School, formerly Lincoln Park High School). Lincoln Park School was the first structurally built school for African Americans in Clermont (sited from Lake County School Board website).
Sharon Keys, President & CEO
Dr. Monica Gordon, Vice President
Shannon Herrera, Secretary
Brittany Timmons, Treasurer
Sonya Peterkin, Esq.
Dr. Mary Woolridge
Alliance Board Members
Pastor Darryl Church
Pastor Brian Broadway
Pastor Tim Moses
Pastor Marvin Wootson
Pastor Chris Walker