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 11 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 BUILDING BRIGHT FUTURES!

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


Some reminders and news for the last week of school:

  • Dress Code rules are still in place. Including no writing/drawing on shirts.
  • No backpacks. Only purses and lunchboxes.
  • Early Dismissal on the Last Day @ 1:30 PM.
  • $2.oo Paid Dress Down Day on Friday, May 26.
  • Band Students still need instruments each day.
  • Academic Awards for...Read More »

Event Tickets

Tickets to sporting events (and other future events/shows/etc.) can be bought on the EVENT TICKETS page, or by using the QR code here.

...Read More »


Dear Parents/Guardians,

At Lakeland Highlands Middle School, student safety is a priority. During dismissal from school, all students who are car riders should remain in the front of the school, while parents drive through the parent pick-up line. This process ensures safety for all students. Please be advised, we do not...Read More »

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 »