Lakelands Park Middle School

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Lakelands Park Middle School
1200 Main Street
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878
United States
Coordinates 39°6′53.8″N 77°13′55.4″W / 39.114944°N 77.232056°W / 39.114944; -77.232056Coordinates: 39°6′53.8″N 77°13′55.4″W / 39.114944°N 77.232056°W / 39.114944; -77.232056
Type Middle school
Motto Purposeful, Measurable, Successful[1]
Established 2005
School district Montgomery County Public Schools
Principal Deborah R. Higdon
Grades 6–8
Enrollment 980 (2012–2013)[2]
Student to teacher ratio 15 (2012–2013)[2]
Color(s)           Blue and silver
Mascot The Falcon
Rival Ridgeview Middle School
Publication The Falcon Times,
The Falcon Flier

Lakelands Park Middle School is a public middle school located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, United States. Managed by Montgomery County Public Schools, the school educates in grades 6-8. The school was named after Lakelands Park, which is adjacent to the school. With its premises used regularly for community events, the school has a high local profile.

Deborah R. Higdon became the school's principal in August 2009, taking over from the original principal, Joseph Sacco.[3]

The school[edit]

Lakelands Park Middle School was built in 2005 to resolve overcrowding in other schools in the county,[4] as a result of a unique collaborative effort between the Montgomery County Board of Education and superintendent Dr. Jerry Weast,[5] at a cost of $21 million.[6] The building is 153,588 square feet (14,268.8 m2), and includes three floors, a full-size gym, auxiliary gyms, three computer labs, and rooms for art, music and technology. The media center has a collection of more than 18,000 print and non-print materials, including books, magazines, videos, DVDs and CD ROMs. The Research Learning Hub includes 32 networked computers.

The school set ambitious academic targets, including 100% of the students reading at or above grade level by the time they leave the school.[7] However, the school was soon placed on the state watch list due to poor results.[8]

Following the decision of the Montgomery County school board to allow cell phones in schools other than high schools, in August 2007 Lakelands was one of four selected to trial this arrangement.[9]

Feeder patterns[edit]

After students graduate from 8th grade, the high school they go on to depends on the elementary school they attended. Students move to Quince Orchard High School if they went to Brown Station or Rachel Carson elementary schools, and those who went to Darnestown Elementary School attend Northwest High School. If students went to Diamond Elementary School, they either attend Quince Orchard High School if their home is south of Great Seneca Highway, or Northwest High School if their home is north of Great Seneca Highway.

Sports and extracurricular activities[edit]


Lakelands Park has competitive teams in boys' and girls' softball, boys' and girls' basketball, boys' and girls' soccer, and coeducational cross country.[10]

The city constructed a synthetic turf sports field, at a cost of just under $950,000, in the adjacent Lakelands Park.[11] The field opened in October 2014.[12] Initially there was no public access but, in May 2015, it was announced that the field would be available to the community on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.[13]

Student Sara Mercer was selected to represent the United States in China at the 2016 Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships.[14]

Music and theatre[edit]

The Lakelands Park Theatre, the school's drama club, wrote and gave a public performance of an original drama, Pirate School!, in February 2008.[15]

The school's Advanced Orchestra received an overall Superior rating at the Maryland State Orchestra Festival in 2010, which is the highest possible rating.[citation needed]

Awards and external contributions[edit]

Student awards[edit]

  • Bria Mirante-Howard - winner of the Afro American Newspapers Character Essay Contest, 2007[16]
  • Adam Rusak - 2012 winner of the Maryland National Geographic Bee and 10th place in the National Geographic Bee;[17] runner-up in the State competition in 2011[18]

Teacher awards and contributions[edit]

A teacher at the school, Carol Nezzo, was invited by the National Capital Language Resource Center to jointly present a paper entitled "Learning Strategies for Young Learners - Playing among the 5 Cs" on June 20, 2007.[19]

Susan Cooper, Eric Kuhn and Martha Chess were winners of the Outstanding Educator award given by the Montgomery County Council of PTAs for the 2009–2010 school year. They were recognized for "supporting families who have children receiving special education services in the Montgomery County Public School system".[20]


  1. ^ "Lakelands Park Middle School". Archived from the original on September 1, 2006. Retrieved October 20, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Lakelands Park Middle". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Staff Directory - Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD". Montgomery County Public Schools. Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  4. ^ Area's schools cope with additional students, Washington Times, August 28, 2005
  5. ^ "Milestones, Goals and a Request for Residents' Input", The Washington Post, February 2, 2006
  6. ^ "Gaithersburg's New School", The Washington Post, August 25, 2005
  7. ^ "New Lakelands Park Middle School plans for excellent year", Parisa Karimi, The Prowler, September 30, 2005
  8. ^ "Elementary schools progress, but not middle schools", Marcus Moore, The Gazette, July 22, 2009.
  9. ^ "Schools Ease Off Cellphone Restraints", Daniel de Vise, Washington Post, August 27, 2007
  10. ^ "Athletics". Montgomery County Public Schools. 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  11. ^ Davis, Jenn (20 June 2014). "Construction to begin soon on turf field at Gaithersburg park". Maryland Gazette. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  12. ^ Brick, Krista (6 October 2014). "LAKELANDS PARK TURF FIELD MAY BE LOCKED TO ALL WITHOUT A PERMIT". Montgomery Community Media. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  13. ^ Burke, Sonya (2 May 2015). "GAITHERSBURG OPENS LAKELANDS SYNTHETIC FIELD FOR PUBLIC PLAY ON WEEKENDS". Montgomery Community Media. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  14. ^ Schipper, Pam (3 February 2016). "LPMS Student to Compete in China". The Town Courier. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  15. ^ Murret, Patricia M. (6 February 2008). "Ahoy there, Lakelands Park Middle School mateys". Maryland Gazette. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "The Bulletin"[permanent dead link], Montgomery County Public Schools, June 4, 2007
  17. ^ Jenny Doren (24 May 2012). "Adam Rusak, of Gaithersburg, competing in National Geographic Bee". ABC News. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  18. ^ Mary Gail Hare (1 April 2011). "Knowledge, good fortune key to geography bee win". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  19. ^ "NCLRC's 2007 Summer Institutes"[permanent dead link], Office of English Language Acquisition, US Department of Education, January 29, 2007
  20. ^ "MCCPTA Special Recognition Ceremony", Montgomery County Council of PTAs, May 2010.

External links[edit]