Madison Weaver is proud of her family name.
Growing up, she was surrounded by her great-grandfather's legacy — literally.
Roger Weaver, her great-grandfather, served as the Citrus County school superintendent for 28 years. In 1984, Weaver retired. He passed away on July 31, 1986, at 71 years old. After that, the Lecanto Educational Complex — home to Lecanto elementary, middle and high school, as well as the Renaissance Center and the CREST school — was named in his honor.
This past May marked a milestone for the Weavers. Madison graduated from Lecanto High School and her cousin, Shelby Spikes, graduated from Crystal River High School.
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Madison was raised on the family's 40-acre farm. Roger’s wife, Josephine, lived in one house and they lived in another. The property originally started off with a small one-room shack, then a trailer, and eventually a house.
“It was really cool being able to see the land being built up and the history that the land holds,” said Kelly Johnson, Madison’s mother.
Madison was one of more than 10 kids who got to call Roger great-grandpa.
“Growing up, I was able to see the blueprint of the unfinished school that my dad had,” she said. “I knew I was going to attend Lecanto, so it was cool being able to have that piece in my house and go there as a student.”
And go there she did: Madison attended Lecanto middle and high school, and also spent two years at the Academy of Environmental Science.
“It is pretty cool graduating from a school that is named after your great-grandfather," Madison said. "There are only three people left that have the family name: Sharon Weaver, Roger Weaver’s daughter, my dad Joshua Weaver and I. It’s very monumental to be the last with the family name to graduate, especially from Lecanto High School.”
Her great-grandpa's legacy wasn't just visible in the buildings around her: All of Roger's daughters became teachers, so even out of class, Madison was surrounded by them.
Now, she may follow in the family tradition: Madison plans to focus on conservation and education in the environmental science community.
“It’s funny, because she never thought about education as a career,” Johnson said. “But I think being surrounded by all the teachers, it’s ingrained in her. I do not see her in a classroom, but I see her being outside and educating people that way.”
She plans to attend the University of South Florida St. Petersburg to major in environmental science. She also wants to enlist in the United States Coast Guard, then eventually the United States Coast Guard Reserve and then apply to Coast Guard Officer Candidate School. She hopes to graduate as an officer by the time she graduates from USF.
“My family has left a legacy here in Citrus County," she said. "It is not going anywhere and it is here to stay; it is something that I can always come back to and remember, and it is something that my family will always have.”