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Lyman High School is a public high school located in Longwood, Florida, a city located approximately 10 miles north of Orlando. The school, founded in 1924, has been consistently ranked among the best in the state by the Florida Department of Education. For the 2012-2013 school term Lyman High School garnered a straight 'A' average, the best in the district, as a result of extremely high student scores on the Florida Comprehension Assessment Test. In 2014, it was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the 27th best high school in the state of Florida and the overall best high school in Central Florida.[3] It was ranked by Newsweek as the 204th best high school in the United States in 2010.[4] The school was also named a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 1982.[5] The school is operated by Seminole County Public Schools.

Lyman High School
Lyman High School.jpg
865 South Ronald Reagan Boulevard


Coordinates28°40′51″N 81°20′44″W / 28.68083°N 81.34556°W / 28.68083; -81.34556Coordinates: 28°40′51″N 81°20′44″W / 28.68083°N 81.34556°W / 28.68083; -81.34556
Motto"From Promising to Proven" [2]
School districtSeminole County Public Schools
PrincipalMike Rice
Number of students2,600 (2016-17)[1]
Color(s)Blue and gold
RivalLake Brantley High School



The school's namesake, Lyman, arrived in the area upon the invitation of Congressman Charles Delemere Haines. After Seminole County voted to separate from Orange County, in 1920, the Lymans and other citizens of the area voted to incorporate the city of Altamonte Springs. By 1923, it became apparent that the established school houses in the area did not adequately meet the needs of the growing population.

At a board of trustees meeting it was suggested that the cities of Lake Mary, Longwood and Altamonte Springs consolidate and create one school building. Because of its distance from the other two cities, Lake Mary opted to create its own school, while the cities of Longwood and Altamonte Springs consolidated into one school.

Construction of the new school began in 1924. Howard Lyman died a few days before the construction of the school began. In appreciation of his work, the school was named after him. Lyman School opened in September 1924 with Howard Douglas as the principal. By 1926, the school had become an accredited junior high school, and enrolment had increased to a degree where it was necessary to add six rooms to the building. In 1929, Lyman School was accredited through the twelfth grade under the leadership of W.J. Wells, Jr.

Lyman School was renamed Lyman High School in 1963 when it became an accredited institution under the leadership of Carlton D. Henley. Three years later, Lyman High School became fully integrated, admitting its first black students in 1966. In 1969, Lyman High School moved to a newly constructed state-of-the-art campus approximately 1/4 mile to the north, while the former Lyman campus became R. T. Milwee Junior High School, named after Rayburn T. Milwee, Sr., a former Lyman teacher (1939-1949), Lyman principal (1949-1952) and Superintendent of Seminole County Schools (1952-1967). As originally envisioned, Milwee Junior High School was to become a second junior high for grades 7 through 9, feeding into Lyman along with the pre-existing South Seminole Junior High School in Casselberry. Students residing in Milwee's catchment area that were attending South Seminole Junior High were transferred to Milwee.[6] The year before the transfer, students who would attend Milwee were allowed to vote on a new school mascot for the school. They chose the name, Spartans.

In the fall of 1970, Seminole County transitioned to a "middle school" concept and all existing junior high schools were redesignated as middle schools. Under this concept, all elementary schools would now incorporate mandatory kindergarten programs and accommodate students in grades K through 5. Middle schools would incorporate 6th grade students formerly in the elementary schools and accommodate grades 6 through 8. Finally, 9th grade programs previously resident in the junior high schools would transfer to the senior high schools, making all high schools grade 9 through 12 institutions. However, explosive population growth in South Seminole County during the 1960s made such a transition less than optimal. During the 1970-71 academic year, the inclusion of 9th grade students from the former South Seminole Junior High School mandated "double sessions" for the first time in Lyman High School's history. Under double sessions, approximately 50% of Lyman's students began class at 7:00am, finishing at 1:30pm. At 11:30am, the second cohort of students would arrive, finishing at 6:00pm. The comparatively new Lyman campus, originally constructed for approximately 1500 students, now housed well in excess of 2,000, especially during peak loading between 11:30am and 1:30pm, mandating the installation and use of numerous portable classrooms on the campus.[6]

In June 1971, Milwee Middle School was closed and its 7th and 8th grade students for the September 1971 - June 1972 academic year transferred to the newly completed Teague Middle School near Forest City. The former Milwee Middle School, e.g., the original Lyman campus, then became a "satellite campus" of Lyman High School for the 1971-72 academic year, providing additional classroom facilities for primarily 9th and 10th grade students. It was not unusual for students, especially 10th grade, to have classes on both campuses, commuting between both via shuttle bus or on foot in a manner similar to college/university students. The following academic year, 1972–73, all Lyman students returned to the main campus. That same year, Lake Brantley High School was established with 9th and 10th grade students, using the former Milwee-cum-Lyman "satellite campus" until its permanent facility in Forest City was completed in mid-1973. Lyman's last "3 year program" (grades 10-12) class graduated in 1973 and its first "4 year program" (grades 9-12) class graduated in 1974. The 1974 class was also Lyman's then-largest ever graduating class at that time, numbering over 740 students. It was also the last graduating class whose population contained students from nearly all of South Seminole County, to include the entire catchment area for Lake Brantley High School, the entire catchment areas for the later constructed Lake Howell High School and major portions of the catchment areas for the later constructed Lake Mary High School and Winter Springs High School.[6]

As principal from 1963 through 1994, Carlton Henley was primarily responsible for bringing approximately $900,000 in grant money to Lyman High School and Seminole County. Henley also developed one of the most highly technological high schools in the state, as well as the institution of the double-period schedule for students, a dropout prevention program, a staff development program for teachers, and provided leadership for the development of the most comprehensive athletic facility of any high school in the state. In 1984, he was named Florida Principal of the Year. Principal Henley retired in 1994 after more than 30 years at the helm of Lyman High School. Entering local politics, he is currently a County Commissioner representing District 4 on the Seminole County Board of County Commissioners.[7]

The end of the Henley years had ushered in a new era for Lyman. This included the 75th Anniversary celebration in 1999 with the creation of the Lyman High School Hall of Fame and, in 2000, the creation of the Lyman High School Institute for Engineering.

Institute for EngineeringEdit

Lyman High School houses a magnet program called the Institute for Engineering, having an engineering emphasis on mathematics and science. It is an academic and technology related program designed to prepare students for advanced educational and job related experiences in fields related to engineering. Each student that wishes to "graduate" from The Institute for Engineering must complete a 10-hour internship at a selected site coinciding with their specialization.

Within the Institute for Engineering there are five areas of specialization: aerospace engineering, electrical engineering, bioengineering, computer modeling and simulation, and architectural engineering and design. During the freshman year, students take an introduction to engineering class (IED). Their sophomore year they have to take at least one specialized class, though they can take these any other year as well (aerospace, civil, biotech, modeling, robotics). Their junior year they take principles of engineering, a more math based class that focuses on application of equations and light programming. Their senior year they take a project based class where students group up and design, research, and prototype a new invention that they come up with.


The Greyhounds participate in over 20 athletic programs of the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA). The school competes in Division 6A and offers programs for both, boys and girls and includes freshman, junior varsity, and varsity sports.

Fall sports offered include football, swimming, golf, girls' volleyball, cross-country, and bowling.

Winter sports offered include basketball, wrestling, and soccer.

Spring sports offered include baseball, track and field, softball, boys' volleyball, tennis, water polo, and lacrosse.

Performing artsEdit

The Lyman High School Marching Greyhounds

Lyman is also host to a high school Color Guard and Winterguard program.[8] Lyman is part of a High School Scholastic A unit competing for Florida Federation of Colorguards Circuit and with Winter Guard International. In the 2012-2013 winter guard season the Diamonds were bumped down to the scholastic a class but placed 1st at the FFCC championships.[citation needed]

The Lyman High School Marching Greyhounds have performed at the Walt Disney World Holiday Parade, the Daytona 500, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Chick-fil-A Bowl and the Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival.[9]

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ "LYMAN HIGH SCHOOL". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Lyman High School website".
  3. ^ "Florida's Best High Schools 2014". U.S. News & World Report.
  4. ^ "America's Best High School's 2010". Newsweek Magazine.
  5. ^ Archived: Blue Ribbon Schools Program, Schools Recognized 1982-1983 Through 1999-2002 (PDF) Archived 2009-03-26 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b c School History - About | Milwee Middle School Archived March 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^
  8. ^ The Lyman Diamonds Dance Team / Color Guard
  9. ^ Home
  10. ^

External linksEdit