Great Lakes Learning Academy High School Students

We understand that each student has unique abilities and learning styles. At Great Lakes Learning Academy, we want our students to be responsible and independent. We encourage this by providing all students with the support and personal attention they need to be successful. Our students are empowered to succeed by their teachers as well as an at-home Learning Coach, who helps them stay on track.

When our homeschoolers have the tools to learn and the freedom to grow, there is no telling how far they can go. Meet some of our students and see what they’ve been able to accomplish while at Great Lakes Learning Academy.

Aurora Ann Cotton

Former Brick and Mortar

Read My Story

Aurora Ann Cotton is a graduate of Great Lakes Learning Academy (GLLA), a free cyber school in Michigan. Aurora enjoyed attending GLLA and says she gained a fresh approach to learning. Read more about Aurora’s story below.

“GLLA was for me because I could learn at my own pace and didn’t have to deal with classroom politics. I absolutely loved this school! The teachers are amazing. They’re very helpful and were willing to guide me through areas that I struggled with the most. I mostly struggled with math and chemistry. When I needed help from my teachers, they were only a phone call or email away.

I made new friends through field trips and through collaborating on projects with my fellow students. My favorite subject was American Sign Language because I love to learn new ways to communicate with people.

I loved GLLA because it gave me a fresh approach to learning. This approach allowed me to be an independent learner and grow on my own at my own pace.

I loved Great Lakes Learning Academy because the teachers were great and actually helped me understand when I was having problems. I also had lots of freedom to dance.

Ashlee Holtz

Former Brick and Mortar

Read My Story

Ashlee Holtz is a graduate of Great Lakes Learning Academy (GLLA). As a busy dancer, she is grateful for the flexible scheduling that GLLA offered. Ashlee shares her story below.

“Before GLLA, I attended a local private school, where I had many distractions that kept me from concentrating. When I came to GLLA, I found that I could work at my own pace with no distractions—it was great! I was also able to work one-on-one with teachers, and do all my work on-the-go or at home. My favorite subjects were geometry and digital photography.

Dance is my passion. I have been dancing since I was two and I love every minute of it. Dance allows me to be free and express myself through movement; I always wish to be in the studio dancing. Because dancing takes up so much of my time, GLLA’s flexible schedule allowed me to get my school work done and dance as much as I needed. I had dance practice at night four days a week, and school during the day. I also worked out during the day to get stronger for dance and to stay healthy. If I had attended a traditional bricks-and-mortar school, I would not have had the time to fit in all the workouts and practices, and have time for homework. GLLA was great for me and my lifestyle because I could fit school and dance in during the week and still have fun on the weekends.”

Ashlee hopes to receive a bachelor’s degree in dance, as well as in in teaching and business. After graduating college, her dream is to open her own dance studio. Eventually, Ashlee would like to settle down and start a family.

Tesa Jones


Read My Story

Tesa Jones is a graduate of Great Lakes Learning Academy (GLLA). At GLLA, Tesa is able to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities while receiving a high-quality education. She shares her story below.

“The teachers at GLLA were very friendly and always provided support so that you can succeed. What I liked most about GLLA was the flexibility, which allowed me to do more things outside of school that I normally wouldn’t be able to do at a traditional public school. I am a high-paced girl and do a lot of volunteer work, so my school schedule needs to be flexible. My other passions and hobbies include gymnastics, dancing, yoga, cooking, and outside activities.

My favorite subject at GLLA was math—I loved algebra! I plan to study pre-med in college. Later, I want to go to medical school to become a surgeon. I’m not sure what kind of surgeon yet, but I’m thinking about the cardiothoracic area.”

To learn more the medical field, Tesa attended The Congress of Future Medical Leaders during the summer of 2015.

What I liked most about GLLA was the flexibility, which allowed me to do more things outside of school that I normally wouldn't be able to do at a traditional public school.

I loved GLLA because it gave me the opportunity to excel in my school work and live up to my full potential.

Amanda King

Former Brick and Mortar
Looking for a Change

Read My Story

Amanda King is a graduate of Great Lakes Learning Academy (GLLA), a free cyber school in Michigan. She lives in Erie, Michigan with her family. She found GLLA to be a good fit because she could learn at a pace that worked for her and had the teacher support she needed. She is passionate about school and is always striving to do her best. Read more about Amanda below.

“At GLLA, I had access to the teachers through online sessions, but they were not standing over me. I had freedom and could learn at a pace that suited me best. I loved GLLA because it gave me the opportunity to excel in my schoolwork and live up to my full potential.

Before GLLA, I attended a public bricks-and-mortar school. I began looking for a different learning experience because once I entered high school, I felt like no one cared about my grades or my well-being in the classroom. I was not being offered the help I needed, and if didn’t understand something, my grades reflected that.

I love to read and play volleyball with my sister. GLLA worked for me because I was able to arrange my school work around my busy schedule. Now that I have graduated, I would like to go to college, preferably at the University of Toledo. I would like to become a pediatric nurse or a nurse anesthetist.”

Amanda’s favorite subject at GLLA was psychology. Her mother says, “Amanda is so special because of her very caring nature and how she is not only smart but is very conscientious and responsible.”

Ivan Mokhov

Former Brick and Mortar

Read My Story

Ivan Mokhov is a graduate of Great Lakes Learning Academy (GLLA). He is from Mason, Michigan. At GLLA, Ivan learned how to take ownership over his schoolwork, while maintaining his busy schedule. He shares his story below.

“I was very interested in GLLA because of the flexibility and the friendly teachers. My favorite subjects were geometry and physics. There was much more flexibility at GLLA than at my previous school, and I had a lot more time to figure skate.

My whole family is a figure skating family–both my sister and my brother also skate. My parents are my coaches. I am four-time Eastern Great Lake’s Regional champion, Midwestern Sectional Champion, and have placed 10th in the US Figure Skating National Championships.

The Eastern Great Lakes Regional Championship is the first competition of the season in which I competed. It includes competitors from nine states—the top four qualify for the Midwestern Sectional Championships. The Midwestern Sectional Championships includes competitors from three regional competitions. The top four competitors of these championships qualify for The US Figure Skating National Championships, which includes the 12 best competitors in the whole country.

Being involved in the sport of figure skating has helped me a lot in life. It keeps me disciplined, forms my character, and keeps my body healthy. Thanks to skating, I also know how to speak and read and write fluently in two languages: Russian and English.”

What I liked most about GLLA was the flexibility because I was able to figure skate on my own time.

I loved GLLA for the time management and scheduling flexibility—and for the help I got from my teachers. I feel that I was a part of something great.

Michael Norton

Former Brick and Mortar
Previously Struggled

Read My Story

Michael “Cade” Norton is a 2015 graduate of Great Lakes Learning Academy (GLLA), a free cyber school in Michigan. He lives with his family in Trenton. At GLLA, Cade had the freedom to use the learning styles he prefers and work at a pace that worked for him. He was able to achieve academic and personal success in ways his parents could never have imagined. Cade’s mom tells his story below.

“Cade has always been extremely smart, but starting in middle school, he began struggling academically. His MEAP test scores were above average, as were his scores on other tests and assessments. He was reading at a college freshman level, but his school work and grades didn’t show it. We tried every tactic to get his grades up and to get him to do his work.

In his ninth grade year, we figured out the problem: Cade simply didn’t fit the typical brick-and-mortar school. He learns differently. He received no help at his brick-and-mortar school. The staff there told us that he didn’t qualify for 504 or IEP because he had no actual learning disability. ‘There is nothing we can do for him,’ they said, following up with, ‘He just doesn’t care about school.’ Our son was literally failing all of his classes.

Then, Cade found a YouTube video explaining his algebra assignments in a different way—one he could understand. So, he actually did his homework, including his missing assignments. He was so excited to go back to school and turn in his work, only to learn that although the answers were correct, he would not receive credit because ‘this is not the way algebra is taught at school.’

It was breaking our hearts to see our son’s intelligence and potential remaining untapped and becoming lost. That’s when we went as a family to an information session for Great Lakes Learning Academy. We were sold immediately.

Enrolling Cade at GLLA was a positive experience. Not only did Cade excel academically, but also his self-esteem flourished. We can see it in his conversations, as he is now less shy around strangers. We even see it in his music. According to his music teacher, Cade is a ‘gifted and talented’ drummer. Also, he decided to pick up a bass guitar and learn how to play. Bottom line: he has blossomed not only as a student, but also as a person. He is now a young man with one wild sense of humor and a boatload of confidence.

GLLA’s flexibility helped him immensely. A schedule following a strict 74 minutes for each and every class doesn’t work for Cade. For some subjects, he doesn’t even need half that time, while for other subjects, he needed all of that time and then some. I think what helped him is that he could do his English, Spanish, and history class work one day and then dedicate the next day to geometry only or biology only.

I cannot say that GLLA is easier than a brick-and-mortar school or that GLLA students have less work. I actually saw more assignments here than at his previous school. Plus, it is no easy task to become a self-starter. But GLLA’s structure and approach to learning are fantastic. The staff members teach with their hearts 100% in the job. It’s refreshing to see teachers care about not only what children learn, but also how they learn—they encouraged Cade all the way.

Cade went from failing all his classes to earning honor roll grades. He has blossomed so much that while in tenth grade, he took it upon himself to apply to a local community college as a dual enrollee and was accepted by Monroe County Community College.

In his free time, Cade plays drums for a band called Detroit Havoc. He also loves video games and social media. In fact, he forged a few great friendships with other GLLA students—some who lived 10 hours away!”