Our Mission

“The Stambaugh Middle School family of staff members is dedicated to creating an environment where all stakeholders maximize their academic potential and love of learning by thinking independently, working cooperatively, and contributing positively toward becoming responsible and productive citizens in a changing world.”


  • All Students can learn.
  • Every individual has self-worth, dignity, and rights that should be respected by all.
  • Learning is a continual, life-long process.
  • The educational environment should encourage and challenge all students to reach their academic goal.
  • The home, school, and community should work together in order to insure success for all students.
  • Sufficient resources are necessary to meet the needs of all students in order to optimize learning.
  • Each person is responsible for his or her own actions and words.
  • All members of the family have a right to feel safe at school.

School History

Initial Development

Jere L. Stambaugh Middle School has a rich heritage and strong community ties. It was built during the 1983-84 school year, was dedicated in September of 1984. A committee of local citizens chose to name the school in honor of Jere L. Stambaugh Sr., a civic leader and champion of education who served for many years on the Polk District Schools board of trustees. Jere L. Stambaugh Middle School stands on a site that has been an Auburndale school since 1915 when the first classroom building was constructed. A second building, built in 1921, was later enlarged to include an auditorium that served the city from the 1920’s until 1979. Stambaugh’s gym, the oldest structure at the school, was built by the WPA in 1936, and the cafeteria was added in the late 1950’s.

Until the opening of Auburndale Central Elementary in 1947, all Auburndale students attended grades one through twelve where Stambaugh is located today. The school became a junior high in 1954 when grades nine through twelve moved to Auburndale High School, and then Auburndale Middle School , a seventh grade center, in 1973 when a new Auburndale Junior High (now the North Campus of Auburndale High School) opened.

In May of 1979 a tornado damaged the two oldest buildings at the site. Auburndale Middle School ‘s students, who evacuated without serious injuries and no loss of life, attended double-sessions at Auburndale Junior High until Christmas, then moved temporarily to Lake Alfred and became the North Central Area Middle School .

When Stambaugh opened in 1984, its seventh grade was joined by the sixth grade from Bridgers Elementary School . The eighth grade moved from Auburndale Junior High in 1989 during the most recent restructuring of Polk schools. The Joel H. Willis Building , named in honor of Stambaugh’s first principal, was constructed in two phases between 1989 and 1991, the first housing the physical education department, the second providing additional classroom space. In 1989, Jere L. Stambaugh Middle School became the middle school it is today, housing sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.

Recent History

In 2003 the present gymnasium was named after it’s second principal Gerald Winsett, the Winsett Gymnasium. Gerald served as the principal from 1987 to 1994 and it was during his tenure SMS grew into a bonafide middle school. When he retired, then assistant principal Jeannie Whiddon served for a year before the assistant principal Don Turner was appointed Principal in 1994 and served until his retirement in 2001. Allison Kalbfleisch served as principal from 2001 until 2010, when she received a promotion as Senior Director of Polk County Middle Schools. Our present principal Robert Hartley was welcomed during the 2010-2011 school year.

In the 2008 – 2009 school year, construction of the new gymnasium broke ground. The new Gerald Winsett gymnasium opened its doors at the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year.

Code of Conduct and Other School Policy

  • Download the 2018-2019 Student Code of Conduct Here.