Lakeland Institute for Learning


We are striving to provide a relevant and rigorous education to meet the language needs of Exceptional Education Students (ESE) and English Language Learners (ELL). Won’t you join us? We are currently enrolling 3 through 12 th grade ESE students for the new school year. Please call our office for personal assistance at 1-863-225-1263 or email:

Who is Eligible?

ESE and ELL students are eligible for McKay or Personal Learning Scholarship Account/Gardiner through the Florida Department of Education’s Office of School Choice. Additional options are also available through the Florida Tax Credit Scholarships. Please access the links below for easy access.

Who We Are

Lakeland Institute for Learning (LIfL)

The Lakeland Institute for Learning is a clinical school for ESE and ELL students whose purpose is to deliver services to students within the educational setting in order to facilitate their overall health and well being and maximize their academic growth.

It is our mission to provide students the opportunity to become a knowledgeable and productive member of society, through language access within a career oriented environment developed to inspire special needs students and English Language Learners. Contact Us

Made Your Decision?

Click the link to get started
with the enrollment process.

Get Started

What we do.

We teach language skills within a clinical setting.


Providing a great educational environment
for all students to learn.


Helping build up the youth for
tomorrow with caring and competent staff.


Providing leadership and direction
to all students to help guide students to a bright future.


Evaluating the needs, talents and potential
of all students to ensure their needs are being met.

Contact Information

To discuss the scholarship options available for your child, please call our office and schedule an appointment to discuss your child’s needs at 863-225-1263 or email:

FAX 1.863.225.1263

We would love to hear from you so let's get in touch!




Meeting the challenge head on.

Donna Lee Buckner M.S. ED/Ed. D

Founder/ Principal

Donna Lee Buckner is a thirty-year veteran of the Florida Public School system. She completed her undergraduate work at Villa Maria College in Erie, Pennsylvania; her Master’s in Educational Leadership at Nova Southeastern University and doctorial work in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Research and Evaluation at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She has also served on the Florida Educational Research Association (FERA) board for four years as a Board Director. In the November of 2014, Donna was named President – Elect and resumed the office of President in 2015-2016. She is also a member with the National Association of Test Directors. Currently, Donna is the Executive of the Lakeland Institute for Learning.

Teresa Vázquez Martínez

Director of Public Relations and Community Development

Born in Santa Clara, Cuba, Teresa Vázquez Martínez immigrated with her parents and sister to the United States in 1970 and established themselves in Central Florida. After twelve years as a language teacher with the public school system, she founded the Institute of Spanish Communication, Inc. (ISC) in 1999 where she has offered the community experience in translation, interpretation, instruction, and training. Teresa has served as the travel manager and interpreter for the Miss Universe Organization throughout Latin America. She is an active member of the Polk County community serving on several boards of directors, a past President and Chairwoman of the Board of the Hispanic Club of Lakeland/Hispanic Festival, and also has a seat on the Board of Trustees for Polk State College.

Our Board of Trustees

Various Positions

The school ‘s Board of Trustees is comprised of a Bill Mutz, community leader, Alberto Bonfil, Financial Advisor for Edward Jones, Wayne Kline, Bold Solutions Group, Dr. Naomi Boyer, Associate Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at Polk State College, Talon Robotics, and Dr. Charles Barrios, MD, a board certified psychiatrist and the Medical Director of the Peace River Center.

Meeting Schedule: August, October, December, February, April, June