Lake Highland Preparatory School

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Lake Highland Preparatory School
LHPS ("LHP") logo.png
Lake Highland Preparatory School is located in Florida
Lake Highland Preparatory School
Lake Highland Preparatory School
901 Highland Avenue


United States
Coordinates 28°33′29″N 81°22′19″W / 28.558°N 81.372°W / 28.558; -81.372
Latitude and Longitude:

28°33′29″N 81°22′19″W / 28.558°N 81.372°W / 28.558; -81.372
PresidentAlfred G. Harms, Jr.
DeanJonathan Hiett
DirectorDerek Daly (Upper School), Allison Murphy (Middle School), and Dustin Bowlin (Lower School)
Teaching staff157.6 (on a FTE basis) [1]
Grades PK- 12 [1]
Enrollment1,895 [1] (2017–18 [1])
Student to teacher ratio12.0 [1]
Campus size42 acres (17 ha)
Color(s) Red      and White     
Team nameHighlanders
Last updated: 5 August 2020

Lake Highland Preparatory School is a private, coeducational school in Orlando, Florida. Founded in 1970 as a segregation academy, [2] it is today the largest private school in Orlando and serves grades pre-K through 12.


The school was founded in 1970 as a segregation academy during the racial integration of Orlando area public schools. At its founding, the chairman of the board of trustees, Joseph Guernsey, declined to comment when a reporter asked if the school was established to allow white parents to avoid racially integrated public schools. [2] In August 1970, days before the school opened, headmaster Terrence O'Hara told a PTA meeting that an "air of uncertainty over public schools" contributed to the growing enrollment at racially segregated private schools like LHPS. O'Hara said, "Some parents don't even know what public school they are to send their children to" and this "confusion" meant the parents "felt more secure with their children in private schools." [3]

The school initially held classes on the campus of the racially segregated Orlando Junior College. [2] In 1971, Orlando Junior College ended its post-secondary programs and merged with LHPS. [4]

In 1972, James Higginbotham resigned from his position as superintendent of Orange County public schools to take a post at Lake Highland Preparatory. Higginbotham had been criticized for resisting court orders to desegregate Robinswood Middle School and Carver Middle School. [5] On his first day as school president, Higginbotham gave a speech in which he denounced the court order desegregating public schools, stating that "an era was dying" because of "legalistic do-gooders." [6]

In 1976, a school spokesperson said black students were welcome, but none had ever applied or enrolled. [7] As of 2018, the most recent year for which statistics are available, the school has not reported demographic data to the NCES. [8]

In 2013, the school instituted mandatory drug testing for students. After the initial test, additional testing is performed randomly and when "reasonable suspicion" indicates. [9]


The 42-acre (17 ha) campus is next to Lake Highland. The school also has a middle school campus (Charles Clayton Campus) for grades 7 and 8.


LHPS athletic teams are called the Highlanders. Former head football coach Frank Prendergast serves as the school's athletic director. [10] In 2012, 27 of the school's 200 graduating seniors signed to play for college teams. [11] The Highlanders compete in various districts of the Florida High School Athletic Association: mostly 1A, but the football team competes in 2B and the basketball, baseball, softball, and soccer teams in 3A.

Most athletics facilities are located on campus. Football and soccer teams play on Holloway Field at CNL Stadium (often shortened to "CNL Stadium" or "the Field"), while the basketball and volleyball teams compete inside the Weng Family Gymnasium (commonly referred to as "the Gym"). The baseball team plays across from Lake Highland in the O'Meara sports complex.

Historically, Trinity Preparatory School has been Lake Highland's primary athletic rival, [12] mirroring their academic rivalry. Recently[ when?], Lake Highland moved out of Trinity's division, thus ending the annual football rivalry. Lake Highland and Trinity still participate in the same division in most other sports. Bishop Moore High School has supplanted Trinity as LHP's annual football rival.

Former major league baseball pitcher Frank Viola spent 10 years coaching at Lake Highland, six of them as head baseball coach. [13]


Lake Highland Prep has 28 state championships across 11 sports. Boys Wrestling has 7 state championships in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 and holds the state tournament point-scoring records. Boys wrestling also won the first & second team dual state championships in 2018 & 2019. Girls Volleyball has the next-most state titles, 4, in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. And 6 individual state champions in 2018. Girls Basketball has 3 in 1998, 2015, and 2016. Girls Softball are 2002 and 2003 state champions. Boys Basketball are 2013 and 2014 state champions. Boys Soccer has a 2019 state championship. [14] Girls Soccer has a 2006 state championship. Boys Lacrosse has 4 state championships in 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015. Girls Lacrosse won the 2019 state championship. [15] [16] Girls Swim has a 2004 state championships. Girls Golf has a 2001 state championship. Girls 200 Medley Relay has a recent 2017 championship, and Girls 400 Free Relay also. Lake Highland Prep also holds 15 Orlando Sentinel Varsity Cup “Super Six” awards from 2002-2016. [17]

In May 2020, the school's wrestling program left the FHSAA in order to compete as an independent and with a national schedule starting with the 2020-21 academic year. Lake Highland competed at tournaments in Ohio, Delaware, California, and Illinois during the 2019-20 season. State guidelines only allow one meet per season outside Florida and neighboring states Georgia and Alabama. The move means the school will no longer compete for state titles, but instead compete at the National Prep Championships [18].


Lake Highland is accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The school is also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.

After-school programs

The Orlando Hoshuko, a weekend supplementary school for Japanese children, holds its classes at the school. [19]

Notable alumni

Noted former students include:


  1. ^ a b c d e "LAKE HIGHLAND PREPARATORY SCHOOL". Private School Universe Survey. National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Pynn, Roger (February 25, 1970). "Private Prep School Plans Announced". The Orlando Sentinel. p. 8A – via [Board of trustees chairman Joseph] Guernsey refused comment on whether the move was a result of suggestions that private schools were needed in light of federally ordered Integration of public schools.
  3. ^ "Prep School Parents meet headmaster". Orlando Sentinel. August 27, 1970. p. 11A – via
  4. ^ Wilkening, David (June 10, 1971). "College of Orlando graduates its last class". p. B1.
  5. ^ "Higginbotham Resigns, Accepts Highland Prep Job". The Orlando Evening Star. May 9, 1972. p. 1 – via
  6. ^ Madlee, Dorthy (June 15, 1972). "Higginbotham speaks out on courts — School Orders Blasted — Sterile System Feared". Orlando Evening Star. p. 1 – via
  7. ^ "Area Schools not Affected, Officials Say". The Orlando Sentinel. June 26, 1976. p. 4A – via
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Lake Highland Prep to drug test all students". 1 May 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  10. ^ "East Ridge grad Cameron Duke is new Lake Highland football coach", Orlando Sentinel, December 17, 2013.
  11. ^ Natalie Zmuda, "Gatorade's G Force Leaves No Sweat Behind: Hybrid Sales, Marketing Team Fans Out To Conquest Schools, Gyms, Athletic Facilities", AdAge, September 20, 2013.
  12. ^ "Playoffs On Line In Lake Highland-Trinity Rivalry", Orlando Sentinel, November 9, 1995.
  13. ^ Tania Ganguli, "Viola is leaving Lake Highland", Orlando Sentinel, May 1, 2007.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Lake Highland Preparatory School: Athletics". Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  18. ^ Lake Highland Prep wrestling leaves FHSAA competition for national schedule
  19. ^ " 地図 Archived 2015-02-16 at the Wayback Machine." Orlando Hoshuko. Retrieved on February 16, 2015. "住所:901 Highland Ave. Orlando, FL 32803 "
  20. ^ "Stan’s Plan: Former area coach molds son into Super Bowl corner" Archived 2014-12-17 at the Wayback Machine, Sanford Herald, February 1, 2009
  21. ^ Boyar, Jay (March 2010). "Back to School". Orlando Magazine. Archived from the original on November 8, 2013. Retrieved March 12, 2010.
  22. ^ Orlando Sentinel - Former Creed singer Scott Stapp speaks, apologizes by Archived 2007-06-25 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^[ permanent dead link]

External links