Highland Middle School (Louisville, Kentucky)

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Coordinates: 38°13′24″N 85°42′21″W / 38.22340°N 85.70580°W / 38.22340; -85.70580

Highland Middle School
1700 Norris Place,
Louisville, Kentucky, 40205

United States
Type Public
Motto Catch the Highland Attitude!
School district Jefferson County Public Schools
Principal Dr. Thomas Aberli
Grades 6-8
Enrollment 1,004 (2015–2016)

Highland Middle School teaches grades 6-8, in the Highlands section of Louisville, Kentucky, for which it is named. It is in the Deer Park neighborhood and adjacent to Bellarmine University. Highland is part of Jefferson County Public Schools, the largest school district in Kentucky.


From 1989[1] onward, Highland has offered a magnet program in international studies, initially with the assistance of a Federal grant. Highland also offered a Spanish immersion program in the mid-1990s.[2]


Highland was founded in February 1928[3] and has operated continually on the same location. Jackie Robinson spoke at the school in 1955.[4]

The three-story building faces Norris Place to the east and Richmond Drive to the south. To the north is a two block long field used for recreation. A driveway on the school grounds runs on the edge of the field between it and Norris Place, which is used for parking and school bus staging purposes. The drive was enlarged and first paved in 1933, replacing an earlier cinder path that proved useless after rains.[5]

The initial building was intended for 500 students, and by the 1960s the building had become overcrowded and dilapidated. In 1964 a new wing was built, adding 9 classrooms, an expanded library, a kitchen, two shops and a teachers lounge as well as a new entrance.[6] In 1996 a $1.5 million, 9,200-square-foot (850 m2) addition fronting Richmond Drive was completed.[7] The wing contains a science lab, band room, chorus room and classrooms.[4]

A newspaper, the Highland Echo (no longer running), published its first edition in November 1937.[8]

The school has a fight song set to the tune of the Washington and Lee Swing. It was long forgotten until 1990 when an alumnus sponsored a contest for the students to learn the lyrics, which had to be updated by the school's chorus teacher, as the school's name had changed from Highland Junior High since the last time the song had been sung.[9]


Highland Middle School hosted a scene in the movie Elizabethtown (film) (2005) (starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst), as Elizabethtown High School in which Drew (Orlando Bloom) spoke to his mother on his cell phone in the middle of a grass field, with kids playing in the background.

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Thomas Aberli (2016–present)[10]
  • Steven Heckman (2004–2016)[11]
  • Holly Nolan (1997–2004)[12]
  • Robert Knight (1991–1997)[13]
  • Ron Crutcher (?–1991)
  • Terry Brooks (early–mid 1980s)
  • Robert Sanders (1947–1961)
  • Samuel Noe (1946–1947)[4]
  • Eva T. Mason (1928–1946)[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Holland, Holly (1989-03-14). "SCHOOL BOARD WILL EXPAND MAGNETS IF U.S. PROVIDES FUNDS". Courier-Journal. pp. 1B. 
  2. ^ Balu, Rekha (1994-07-17). "HIGHLAND MIDDLE CLEARS THE WAY FOR GIRL WHO USES WHEELCHAIR". Courier-Journal. pp. 1B. 
  3. ^ "Highland Middle seeks alumni for anniversary". Courier-Journal. 2008-09-17. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Elson, Martha (1996-05-29). "Highland Middle's past springs forth at Fling". Courier-Journal. pp. 1N. 
  5. ^ "Committee Seeks Concrete Walk to Replace Cinders and Highland School". Courier-Journal. 1933-05-09. pp. 2–13. 
  6. ^ "Highland School Project Set to Start". Courier-Journal. 1964-01-21. pp. 2–1. 
  7. ^ "Higland Middle plans dedication". Courier-Journal. 1996-05-04. 
  8. ^ "Highland Echo To Be Off Press This Week". Courier-Journal. 1937-11-07. pp. 4–3. 
  9. ^ Elson, Martha (1990-11-14). "HIGHLAND MIDDLE STUDENTS SING SCHOOL PRAISES AGAIN". Courier-Journal. pp. 1N. 
  10. ^ "Atherton High School principal to lead Highland Middle for 2 years". WDRB. August 3, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Highland Middle principal Steve Heckman leaving for another JCPS job". WDRB. August 2, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2016. 
  12. ^ Gagliardi, Melissa (2004-06-24). "10 Principals to retire". Courier-Journal. 
  13. ^ Nimon, Mary Pat (1991-08-21). "MANY STUDENTS WILL BE GREETING NEW PRINCIPALS AT SCHOOL THIS YEAR". Courier-Journal. pp. N5.