FCHS Hall of Fame 2019

From left to right: Thomas L. Hearn, Sharon Childers Collett, Russell A. Meyer and Carmello J. Benassi. (Photo provided)

Six people were inducted into the Franklin County High School Hall of fame during the school's graduation ceremony on Saturday.

The inductees were:

  • Thomas L. Hearn, Class of 1965. He was honored for his outstanding contributions to national health and public safety during his career at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. As a world-renowned laboratory scientist, Hearn led efforts to advance laboratory practices and quality standards around the world.
  • Sharon Childers Collett, FCHS contributor. Collett served the school as a teacher and administrator. She started at FCHS in 1991 as a business teacher for seven years. She then became assistant principal for one year and principal for 13 years. Her high standards are still reflected in FCHS today, officials said.
  • Russell A. Meyer, Class of 1986. Meyer is known for his business success and leadership in state and local government. He was a two-term mayor of Nicholasville and is serving his third term in the Kentucky House of Representatives for District 39, which covers Jessamine County and parts of Fayette County. Meyer has also raised thousands of dollars for charities like the Hospice of the Bluegrass, Feed the Needy, the Boy Scouts and United Way.
  • Carmello J. Benassi, Class of 1974. Benassi was recognized for his career as a PGA golf professional. He won the state high school golf championship in 1973 while a student at FCHS. He went on to spend 28 years as an assistant or head golf professional and manager at Kentucky golf courses. He was named Kentucky Professional Golfers' Association Teacher of the Year in 2005, Merchandiser of the Year in 2006 and 2013 and Golf Professional of the Year in 2010. Benassi has started and led many golf clinics, camps, associations and leagues. He has also taught individuals, high school teams and college teams.
  • Jennifer Yue Barber, Class of 2001. Barber, who has been previously recognized as one of the most outstanding young attorneys in Kentucky, is a member of the Frost Brown Todd law firm in Louisville. Her practice focuses on state and local taxation, economic incentives and government affairs. Barber was appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin to the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees in 2016 and is the chair of the board's athletic committee and a member of the board's finance and audit and compliance committees. She previously served on the Kentucky State Fair Board and chaired its finance committee. She has written and presented extensively about state and local taxation.
  • Toa Veerasethakul Green, Class of 2000. Green, a highly acclaimed chef and businesswoman, has founded two restaurants, the Thai Orchid Cafe and the Thai & Mighty Noodle food truck and restaurant. Perhaps her best-known venture is Crank & Boom Craft Ice Cream, which was originally a mobile operation and began in 2013. Since then, two Crank & Boom stores and a wholesale division with more than 40 retail partners have opened in Central Kentucky. The mobile event division of the brand serves more than 50 festivals and catering events each year. Green's Crank & Boom has been featured by national media and has won many awards and accolades. Green also serves on Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles' Kentucky Proud Advisory Board.

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