skip to main content

  Mission Statement  

Lanier High School is committed to a culture of academic excellence with a tradition grounded in Pride, Respect, and Responsibility.

A Quest For Excellence

For almost a half a century, Sidney Lanier High School has served the Austin community by providing leadership in academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities. The highly skilled and educated faculty and staff of Lanier have been consistent over the years in training top citizens and community leaders. Lanier, a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School in 1997, offers a broad base of opportunities for every kind of student, with programs that are competitive on the state and national levels.

Established in 1961 as the sixth high school in the Austin Independent School District, Sidney Lanier High School was originally located in the building which now houses Burnet Middle School. The current facility, opened in the fall of 1966, is located on Payton Gin Road, north of Research Boulevard, between North Lamar Boulevard and Burnet Road. Lanier is the northernmost AISD high school.

 When originally opened, Lanier's student body was virtually all Caucasian. Over the years, however, the school's ethnic diversity has evolved to the point where Lanier more closely reflects an international population with over 53 countries represented, making it the most diverse high schools in Austin.

From National Merit Scholars to nationally acclaimed teachers, coaches, and organization directors, Lanier has had a profound and positive impact on the fabric of life in and around Austin for over 40 years.

  About The School  

Lanier History...

Fall 1961: Lanier opens as Lanier Junior/Senior High School on the campus of current Burnet Middle School.


August 1, 1966: UT tower sniper Charles Whitman goes on a murderous spree, killing 13, including his wife, Lanier biology teacher Kathleen Whitman, and Lanier student Karen Griffith, and wounding 39.


Fall 1966: Current facility opens.


1969: Randy Peschel caught perhaps the most famous pass in Texas Longhorn history. Number-one ranked UT was down 14-8 to number-two Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville. With minutes left and UT faced with a fourth and three, Coach Darrell Royal sent in the call to quarterback James Street, who lofted a perfect pass to a well-covered Peschel down the left sideline. Randy somehow came down with the ball, fell out of bounds, and Texas scored two plays later to take a 15-14 victory in what is still the apex of the storied Longhorn football tradition.


1974: Tommy Boggs' fastball made him the number-one draft choice of the Texas Rangers. He went on to a major league career with the Rangers and Atlanta where in 1980 he went 12-9 for the Braves.


Spring 1976: Longtime principal Fred Matthys' retirement is marked by the dedication of a fountain and Viking statue in the middle of the courtyard. The $500 project was one of the biggest in the school's history to date. "Sidney," as the statue was fondly named, was often kidnapped and became the center of many senior pranks. Pictures would appear of Sidney at the capitol, Zilker Park, and other Austin landmarks. One year Sidney did not return to his place in the courtyard, and legend has it that he was given a Viking burial in the Gulf of Mexico.


Summer 1983: Teacher Nancy Lehmann-Carssow receives a six-week Fulbright Scholarship to Israel.


1984: Jack Porter is named Outstanding Teacher for the State of Texas and also receives a Fulbright Scholarship to South Korea.


1986-1987: Lanier celebrates its silver anniversary all year long, culminating with a weeklong gala topped off with a barbecue dinner in the courtyard and the sealing of a time capsule, which is awaiting Lanier's golden anniversary in a vault at the north end of the courtyard.


Winter 1987-1988: Lanier suffers a series of arson fires, the most serious of which guts the home economics area, necessitating the total reconstruction of that wing.


1988: Albert Burditt led Lanier to a district championship and went on to be named Southwest Conference Player of the Year as a Texas Longhorn in 1994 when the Horns won their first outright conference championship in 20 years.


1988: Major expansion and renovation of the campus, including a new gymnastics/wrestling facility, new agriculture and business wing, and new auditorium.


December 6, 1991: Lanier students Jennifer Harbison, Sarah Harbison, and Eliza Thomas, and Burnet Middle School students Amy Ayers are brutally murdered in a North Austin yogurt shop, sending the school and the entire Austin community into a state of outrage and shock. Three suspects were arrested in 1999. One was released, one was sentenced to life, and the other sentenced to death.


Fall 1992: New band hall dedicated.


1994: Sharon Iliadis and Englishman Jon Nicholls participate in the Fulbright Exchange Program. For one year Ms. Iliadis taught in Great Britain and Mr. Nicholls taught her classes at Lanier.


April 4, 1995: Teachers Jane Nethercut and Nancy Lehmann-Carssow celebrated the first International Day Without Violence which led to the yearly celebrated Week Without Violence and PeaceWorks Clubs established in the district.


1997: Principal Ruth Kane wins the Readers Digest American Hero in Education Award resulting in a $10,000 award to Lanier.


1997: Geography teacher Nancy Lehmann-Carssow is one of 10 in the state to receive the Texas Exes Award for Outstanding Teachers.


1997: Lanier High School becomes a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School by the Department of Education.


2002: English teacher Cindy Hamlin recognized as one of 30 state finalists in the H-E-B Excellence in Teaching Award.


2002: Tabitha Ramsey is the first Central Texas female to win gold medal at the state meet by capturing the 110-pound division title. She was also voted Outstanding Girl Wrestler in the state by the coaches.


2002: World history teacher Terry Kubsch landscapes the center and south courtyards, creating beautiful gardens for all to enjoy.

2004: Lanier is the first high school to win the Partners in Education Campus Spirit Award for its relationships with community businesses.

Lanier Fight Song

Image for Lanier Fight Song


Lanier School Song

Image for Lanier School Song