Meet Our Great Lakes Learning Academy School Leader

Heather Ballien


Heather Ballien is the superintendent for Great Lakes Learning Academy, GLLA. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Alma College, a master’s degree from Western Michigan University, and an education specialist degree from Saginaw Valley State University. Ms. Ballien is currently pursuing a doctorate degree from Central Michigan University.

Ms. Ballien has more than thirteen years of experience as a middle and high school principal. She also spent three years as a director of curriculum and instruction and three years as a full-and part-time teacher, including at the college level. In addition, she served as a program coordinator working with teachers, students, and parents to improve health and wellness.

Ms. Ballien is passionate about education and the opportunities learning provides her students. She is always working hard to make learning accessible.

When not at GLLA, Ms. Ballien treasures spending time with her family, enjoying and participating in sports, camping, reading, baking, and cooking. She and her husband, Kurt, have three young adult sons: Cameron, Adam, and Devin.