Lakeland Highlands Middle School


A Message From the Principal

Greetings Cougars!

We are very excited to begin another school year here at Lakeland Highlands Middle School and would like to extend a warm welcome to you and your family. It is hard to believe, that over 9 years ago I came to LHMS as your Dean of Students. As I now reflect, I am overjoyed and extremely grateful for being given the opportunity to serve as Principal and lead such an amazing school where students, staff, and community stakeholders are a vibrant and vital part of our success!

We have much to be proud of and celebrate as a school and yet I know that our hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence is never complete. Lakeland Highlands Middle School is always on a continuous path of improvement and this school year will be no different…WE ARE GEARING UP FOR SUCCESS!!

Our faculty and staff are looking forward to challenging all students with rigorous and relevant academic experiences to ensure every student succeeds. With our winning pre-academies, academic and athletic teams, as well as our honor societies, Lakeland Highlands Middle School provides opportunities for students to explore many areas of interest. It is our mission to serve every student with the highest quality education through interest-driven academies providing a focused and engaging learning environment!

I look forward to working with you to support our Cougar students emotionally, socially and academically. Support and commitment from students’ families is KEY and will improve our students’ overall success here at LHMS!

Avé Wright-Gayner, Principal


Lakeland Highlands Middle School was established in 1975 and is located in southwest Lakeland between South Florida Avenue and Cleveland Heights Boulevard. The school operated as a junior high until 1993, when it became a middle school serving grades six through eight. In 2012, LHMS began offering pre-academies with tracks available in medicine, arts & entertainment, media design, aviation/engineering/robotics, culinary arts, agriculture, and video game design. Read more about the different pre-academies.

Latest News

2020 Census

Dear families,

Time is running out to take the 2020 Census.

The Census Bureau will cease counting activities on Sept. 30. Polk County’s response rate currently stands at just 60.8 percent, far below the 2010 rate of 78 percent.

Census data is used to distribute billions of dollars in federal funding, grants and...Read More »


LHMS would like to give a huge shout out to the incredible community business partner, Home Solution Lenders Inc. This year, Home Solution Lenders Inc. reached out to our school, because they wanted to continue making a positive impact in their community. Knowing the many lives impacted because of...Read More »

Overdue Books!

We need all LHMS students to dig through your homes and bring in any library books left over from last year! They can be dropped off in the Main Office or Media Center at any time.

...Read More »

Club/Organization Shirt Orders

Below are the links for ordering any club or school organization shirts. If you do not see a club listed, it does not have a shirt. Sponsors will go into more detail.

School Messenger

Parents! If you don’t get our automated phone calls and emails, PLEASE sign up! With this service you will get info from LHMS and PCPS.

SCHOOL MESSENGER – get important/emergency news from LHMS and Polk County Schools.

Click here for directions on signing up for School Messenger. However, please...Read More »