It now has a name: Lakeland Middle Preparatory School

The Lakeland school board explored at length every nook and cranny of arguments in favor of different school names, but after multiple suggestions and amendments, they decided Monday night on just the right name for their new middle school: Lakeland Middle Preparatory School.

It relies on the clarify of the common “middle school” name and retains the emphasis on academics and distinction that most board members saw in the word “preparatory.”

The measure passed with one abstention from school board member Kelley Hale, who favored a different wording (Lakeland Preparatory Middle). The shortened version of the name will be “Lakeland Prep,” as suggested by board chair Kevin Floyd.

In other business, the board’s attorney, Chris Patterson, recommended that the board seek a new attorney with the bandwidth serve the school district. He also represents the city board, a rarity among Tennessee municipalities and their school districts.

School superintendant Dr. Ted Horrell, Floyd and other board members took time to praise Patterson for his work for the district. Patterson will continue serving the Lakeland School System (LSS) as legal counsel until another attorney is appointment.

The board also approved Public Risk Insurers (PRI) for an insurance brokerage contract that could save the district 20 percent or more with better coverage through a customized insurance package.

The board also discussed:

  • A bid under way to replace the Lakeland Elementary School’s classroom HVAC units and the four six-ton units. The replacements were separated from the district’s recent roofing bid in order to seek better pricing.
  • The smooth implementation of online registration for returning students.
  • The placement of a large flat-screen TV at the entrance of LES for announcements. It was provided through Lakeland Education Foundation grants.
  • An interlocal agreement currently in discussion with Arlington Community Schools.
  • The superintendent’s work on a preliminary budget he plans to bring to the board in April.
  • Progress on an entrance to the middle school property despite 11.6 inches of rain so far in March. Board consultant Dr. James B. Mitchell Jr. of Southern Educational Strategies also strongly cautioned the public against the dangers of trying to explore the property while heavy machinery is at work on the grounds.

Written by Carolyn Bahm, Express editor. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to