Editor’s Note: When we asked readers in the communities we serve to send in their photos, we received more submissions from Lake Highlands than any other neighborhood. People sent in photos of their children, their gardens, White Rock Lake and much more. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to publish all of them, but those chosen can be found on pages 10 and 11.

Lake Highlands – our neighborhood is quite possibly still the best-kept secret in Dallas. It’s appeal is no secret to anyone who lives here: If there is a poster community for a great place in this country to raise your kids, Lake Highlands is it.

Indeed, ask anyone who lives here about the three defining characteristics of our neighborhood, and the answers don’t vary much.

Take the responses of three of the neighborhood’s pillars.

Dr. Bob Iden, principal of Lake Highlands High School: “Friendly, caring, inclusive.”

Anne Brown, president of the Lake Highlands Women’s League: “Friendly, accepting and very close knit.”

Neighborhood resident and Constable Mike Pappas describes it somewhat more unconventionally. “Lake Highlands has the power of the Corvette, durability of the Suburban and the class of the Lexus.

“No doubt one of the most defining characteristics of Lake Highlands is found in the people who live here,” he adds. “You will find strong family values and an unwavering support for the many activities in the community.”

Kind of like a Mayberry, right? Yes, but with more character, culture and color, Pappas insists.

“We are made up of all different races and religions, and we still thrive in our small town atmosphere with a camaraderie only imagined by other small communities in the Metroplex,” he says.

Iden agrees. “Our community has increasingly become multinational and multilingual,” he says, “but we still maintain a strong sense of community.”

Perhaps no place is this harmony more apparent than in neighborhood schools, says Brown, who has lived here for 13 years.

“Especially the high school,” she says. “It is the glue that holds the community together. It’s where all the community gathers together, whether it be at the football games, basketball games, a choir or theater production, etc.”

Pappas agrees, calling the high school “the heartbeat of the community.”

And the future of Lake Highlands? It looks as bright as the present, as evidenced by all the young people who move back to the area to buy homes and raise families.

What brings them back? A long list of things, Iden says.

“Civic-minded people, spirit of volunteerism and involvement, focus on families and development of the community’s young people, affordable housing in neighborhoods with unique natural features, and the geographic location in the Metroplex.”

Or, as Pappas so succinctly puts it: “My list for living here is extremely long, but the most important factor is the people. I just plain love Lake Highlands.”