Online High School Teachers Who Connect

At Great Lakes Learning Academy, our virtual school teachers aren’t just good—they are outstanding and well respected in their fields. Teachers and staff care for GLLA students by working tirelessly to collaborate with GLLA parents to ensure each student is successful. They take the time to get to know the strengths and weaknesses of their students, which allows them to find the best way to help students master the material.

Our teachers personalize lessons to make sure students are actively engaged and challenged. They are much more than just virtual school teachers; they are educators who are dedicated to supporting and preparing their students for the future. By being actively involved with each student’s family, teachers have the opportunity to get to know where a student comes from, which enables them to make connections with their students that last long after classes are over.

Kelli Perkins

Read My Story

Greetings, and a warm welcome to the 2019/20 school year and my GLLA website! I’m happy you’re here–this is your portal to resources that will help you be successful in your classes, so please bookmark this page to make it easy to access Language Arts resources in the future.

By way of introduction, I’d like to let you know a little about me, and I look forward to learning more about you as we work together in Language Arts this year! This is my 13th year in education, and I have a Master of Arts in English from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in English and Social Studies Education from Ferris State University. I am starting my 4th year of teaching at Great Lakes Learning Academy this year, and I love teaching Middle School Language Arts here at GLLA!

Some of my interests include the outdoors, hiking, traveling, reading, and animals of all kinds (especially my dog, Bailey)! I look forward to learning about your interests and helping you reach your highest potential in Language Arts!

Scott Parks

Read My Story

I have 4 children, 3 girls and a boy. My girls are 18, 16, and 14.  My son is 11.  This is my 15th year teaching middle school students.  It is my 3rd year teaching with Great Lakes Learning Academy.

There is a renewed energy and excitement brewing that I hope you feel as well toward the experiences and learning that will take place during the 2019-20 school year!

Mary Urbassik

Read My Story

Hello from Ms. M Urbassik. I want to take time to introduce myself.  I am a mother of 1 son and daughter-in-law, grandmother of 1 grandson, and a pet owner of a dog named EZ and a turtle named Rocky.

Teaching has been my career and passion for over 25 years, with the last 5 1/2 being based at GLLA. My credentials are: Special Education certification K-12, Math 6-12 earned from Saginaw Valley State University.

I look forward to reconnecting with students I have had the privilege to know and work with, along with the formation of new connections with many new students.

Mrs. Szilagyi lives in Gregory, Michigan on a farm with her husband, three children, ages 14, 12, and 8, and many animals. She enjoys reading, cooking, camping, soap making, and tending to her farm.

Michelle Szilagyi

Read My Story

This is Mrs. Szilagyi’s first year with Great Lakes Learning Academy. She will be teaching the self-contained 6th grade classroom, which means she will have the 6th grade cohort for all subjects. She is looking forward to a great year learning and growing with all the 6th graders. One area in particular she is excited to explore with her students is the various unit portfolios; back when she was in 6th grade, she had a portfolio project of her own for an independent study class in which she created a huge Tyrannosaurus Rex out of green modeling clay. It was a feat in engineering, as it required an inner skeleton to hold up the weight of the clay.

Mrs. Szilagyi has seven years’ experience working with students in grades K through 8, either as lead classroom teacher or as an intervention specialist. She joins the GLLA staff having recently taught 5th grade in a traditional brick and mortar public school. She has a passion for inspiring a love of math and great literature in others, as well as helping students to find avenues for their own interests.

Mrs. Szilagyi earned her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and English from Wayne State University. She then went on to study law and obtain her Juris Doctor from Baylor University. Being drawn back to teaching and education, she completed her Master’s Degree in Education at The University of Michigan.

Being an artist isn't something you have to earn, it's something you feel.

Wendy Sauve

Read My Story

I’m Mrs Sauve’, your art teacher here at GLLA. I LOVE art!! I always have. Ever since I was little, I felt like art was part of who I was; part of my identity. Students always ask me, “Are you a REAL artist?” and the answer is…”yes, and if you DO art, so are you!” You don’t have to be someone who actively displays or sells art to be an artist…you just have to MAKE stuff. Being an artist isn’t something you have to earn, it’s something you feel. So… will you see a painting I made in a museum? Is every piece of art I make mind blowing and worth millions? No…am I a REAL artist? Heck yeah. Are you?

Sally Schwade

Read My Story

Welcome to Great Lakes Learning Academy and the 2019/20 school year! I am so happy you are here and look forward to getting to know you better.

Please allow me to tell you a little about me. This is my 13th year as a teacher. I have a Master of Arts in Elementary Education with a double major in Mathematics and Social Studies. I have a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Administration. This is my 3rd year at Great Lakes Learning Academy and I love the connections I make with students through virtual education!

I have been married to my husband, Mike, for 21 years and we have 2 kids. Lucas is 19 years-old and attends the University of Memphis studying Journalism with a minor in Spanish. My youngest, Mackenzie, is 18 years-old and she is attending Northern Michigan studying Biochemistry and Environmental Science. Now that the kids are away at college, my husband and I focus our attention on our 2 dogs, Luna (Golden Retriever) and Scout (Miniature Havanese Poodle). Besides spending time with my dogs, I love to read, watch Netflix, travel, and play games on my iPad.

I dedicate my time to students just like you to make sure that I am supporting you in every way possible to get to graduation.

I love sharing my excitement for my content with students.

Heather Rose

Read My Story

Hi! Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year!! My name is Mrs. Rose and I’m very excited to be starting my 8th year teaching. I am very passionate about language and communication so, teaching English and Spanish is a no-brainer for me. I love sharing my excitement for my content with students so if you have questions, please let me know!!

Ashleigh Shaw

Read My Story

Hey Everyone, it’s Mrs. Shaw. This is my second year teaching here at GLLA. I received my bachelors degree from Central Michigan University with my BA in English. I have worked with students from the kindergarten to high school level. I have many passions. One of my major passions after teaching is coaching. I have coached a variety of sports; basketball, volleyball and softball. Reading is also a passion. For me reading can take you places you have never been and that is why I love to read, because it gives the reader a chance to escape to wherever they like. Traveling is very important to me and being able to meet different people from different cultures and also seeing the beauty in where I live, in Michigan.

I look forward to getting to know everyone and wish you a fantastic school year! 🙂

When not at GLLA, I enjoy reading, playing the piano, going to the gym, playing PC games, and taking photographs (especially city and nature pictures).

Joel Muszynski

Read My Story

I graduated from Spring Arbor University in 2013 with a bachelor’s in English education, a minor in French, and an associate’s in piano pedagogy. I have worked at Great Lakes Learning Academy ever since, and I continue to be excited by the challenges and opportunities of online education! I am also working part-time toward completing my master’s of counseling at Western Michigan University.

Samantha Bonner

Read My Story

My name is Mrs. Samantha Bonner and welcome to my page. I love teaching and have been in the profession for 8 years now. Prior to teaching I was a Biochemist at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where I studied Type 1 Diabetes. I was able to publish years of research which is a big accomplishment of mine. Outside of my career, I am happily married and have been for over 14 years now. I also have 5 wonderful children under the age of 11. We are a large family that loves the outdoors. We are all motocross riders and I have 2 children that race dirt bikes. I sand drag race our turbo razor and we all love Silver Lake Sand Dunes! We are also active campers. Love traveling Michigan and camping everywhere we go. We live in the country on our own farm and raise 4 dogs, wild cats, cows, lots of chickens, and hopefully pigs in the future as well. In the winter we like to go snowboarding.

I love teaching and have been in the profession for 8 years now.

I am here to support you as you make the 2019-2020 school year your best ever.

Angela Safferman

Read My Story

This is my seventh year teaching science and/or math at Great Lakes Learning Academy. I am excited to be teaching Algebra 1 this year as it is my favorite math class! Click on the link for your class to go to the class web page. Visit often as the class pages will change throughout the school year. Please don’t tell me you are “bad at math”. We just need to do some reviewing and practicing – you can do it and I am here to help. Working in the online environment is great because we can spend more time working individually and in small groups. I am here to support you as you make the 2019-2020 school year your best ever.

I lived in Ohio most of my life but moved to Michigan 14 years ago. My family consists of a husband, 3 grown children, 1 son-in-law and 2 dogs. I enjoy walking the dogs, traveling, reading and crafting. I look forward to getting to know each of you throughout the school year.

These past four amazing years I have been here at Great Lakes Learning Academy teaching math and English.

Tiffany Enriquez

Read My Story

Mrs. Enriquez here! This is my 10th year in education (I made it a decade, yay!), and I’ve only begun. My first five years I taught math in Kansas – 3 years at Garden City High School and 2 years at Great Bend Middle School. My 6th year I came back to Michigan and taught math in a blended environment at Nexus Academy of Lansing. These past four amazing years I have been here at Great Lakes Learning Academy teaching math and English. Currently I am teaching Algebra 2 as well as Consumer Math.

On a more personable level, I am a mother of two sassy young ladies aged 3 and 1 (Layla and Adalind) as well as one fur baby (Kali). I have been married since Pi Day of 2015. I’m not a huge gamer anymore, but I used to Mario Party pretty well. These days I only game on my phone, so Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Pokemon Go!, Harry Potter Wizards Unite, and Candy Crush are my go-tos. I also watch way too many television shows so chances are if you mention one you really like I will end up binge watching it. My favorites are Supernatural, Grey’s Anatomy, Doctor Who, and The Good Place.

Ruben Garza

Read My Story

Welcome to Mr. Ruben Primitivo Garza’s website. This is my first year teaching at Great Lakes Learning Academy, and I am excited to help you along your academic career. I was born in Texas, moved around during my K-12 career with a military family, changed schools a couple of times along the way. I graduated high school in Texas with honors in 2010 and went to college at the University of Texas at San Antonio. After graduating from UTSA in 2014, I moved to Michigan to study Welding Engineering Technology at Delta Community College. I finished with a Certificate in Welding in 2016 and proceeded to work at a couple of jobs at weld shops and aerospace factories before jumping to Saginaw Valley State University to obtain my teaching certificate. I taught Algebra 1 and Welding the past 2 years at Bridgeport High School.

To let you into my personal life, I am the oldest of 3. I have a younger brother and sister, we were raised military, my dad was Air Force and retired after 22 years and 1 tour in Afghanistan. I am recently engaged, as well as living together in a new apartment in Grand Blanc. So as far as life is going, I would say I am in a really good spot, and she is the reason that I am where I am. Below is the proposal picture from our trip to Marquette, and yes I am knee-deep in the waterfall.

As a family we put a lot of focus on our academics, I hope I can instill the same focus in my students. My contact information is available at any time, please also make use of the Google Suite (Gmail, Hangouts, Classroom).

As a family we put a lot of focus on our academics, I hope I can instill the same focus in my students.

Together we will hopefully learn valuable concepts in our courses that not only can be used in the business environment but also in our personal environment.

Carol Perez

Read My Story

Hello, I have been teaching students for over 20 years and have enjoyed working with GLLA students for the last six years. I graduated from Michigan State University in 1988 with a BA in Business Administration. I later attended Siena Heights University for my teaching certificate in Business and Mathematics. Together we will hopefully learn valuable concepts in our courses that not only can be used in the business environment but also in our personal environment.

Mattthew Kobe

Read My Story

EDUCATION
Bachelor’s of Science – Biology with a focus in microscopy – Central Michigan University
Minor – Chemistry – Central Michigan University

Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum – Michigan State University

HOBBIES
Hunting, fishing, camping, PUBG, hiking, traveling, science, nature, and conservation.

PETS
Siberian husky, two cats, and two guinea pigs.

I am excited about the coming school year and look forward to working with all my students, helping them succeed, getting to know them, and encouraging them in their life's endeavors.

Gayle Yarick

Read My Story

This is my 26th year of teaching, which has been my life’s continuing adventure. I’ve taught in both private and public schools in Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, and Tennessee. I am in my second year of teaching at Great Lakes Learning Academy, and it has been a fun, new experience for me. I consider Michigan my home, as most of my family lives in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties, where I like to spend time on the weekends when I am able. I hold undergrad degrees from Cornerstone University and the University of Akron and a Master’s degree from Grand Valley State University.

I currently live in Holt, MI, with my four-legged “fur kids”; 3 collies and a Siamese cat. I enjoy being outside any chance I get; walking my dogs, hiking, gardening, etc. Two of my dogs (pictured below with me) are working on becoming certified in therapy work with TDI (Therapy Dog International), which will allow us to become involved in lots of volunteer work in our community. We will be able to visit schools, hospitals, libraries, nursing facilities, and other public avenues to serve the various needs of the community.

Anthony Reisedge

Read My Story

Experience:
This is my sixth year with Great Lakes Learning Academy. I began my teaching career in 2007.

Degrees and Certifications:
B.A. in Political Science, a minor in history, and a Masters degree in Education. I am highly qualified to teach all SS classes and have a Michigan six year provisional certificate valid through 2024.

Courses I’m Teaching this semester:
World History A & B, Honors World History A & B, Criminal Investigation, Intro to Law, and Intro to Homeland Security.

Personal:
I love the summer: fishing, boating, camping, pretty much any outdoor activities. I am a baseball umpire in the spring and part of the summer. The History Channel is always on at my house. I enjoy most sports, and yes I’m a Lions, Red Wings, Pistons, and Tigers fan (even if we stink) Oh yeah, I’m also an avid MSU Spartan fan…. Go Green, Go White!

I love the summer: fishing, boating, camping, pretty much any outdoor activities.

I look forward to working with you this year as you begin your own educational journey!

Daniel Thrower

Read My Story

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” -Plutarch

I have always been inquisitive and a life-long learner, but didn’t decide to pursue teaching until 2005 while doing some soul-searching hiking the Appalachian Trail. I feel there is no better avenue to improving oneself and our communities than education, both in and out of the classroom.

My BA in Interdisciplinary Social Science means I am highly qualified to teach social studies courses like history, economics, and government. In 2013, I continued to improve my skills and knowledge as an educator by earning my MA in educational technology. Computers and technology are a passion of mine in addition to the social sciences.

I joined GLLA in the 2016-2017 school year, but have been teaching since 2007. Seven of those years were spent working with at-risk youth.

Kyle Southwell

Read My Story

My career as a teacher began more than a decade ago when I first ventured out of Michigan to teach in the Middle East. At 33, I can say that I’ve taught at five schools in three countries from 6th grade all the way to university. I’ve learned so much in my career not just about social studies and my craft of teaching, but how better to connect and support families and students.

This is my third year at GLLA, and I'm happy to call it home!

Maria Teresa Crabb

Read My Story

My love for teaching started in my country of origin, Peru, where I got my bachelor and licenciature in Spanish and Literature. Then, moving to USA, I completed my master’s degree in Computer Science Education and working now on finishing my doctoral degree in Applied Linguistics. I taught Spanish in Lima-Peru for several years; and in America since 1998.

I am very glad to work at GLLA!

Deo Wells

Read My Story

I have been teaching for over 20 years. The first 12 years were spent teaching Automotive Technology, the rest have been spent teaching Physics and Math. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics with a minor in Math, and a Master’s degree in Career and Technical Education. I’m a father of 2 and a grandfather of 3; 1 in grade school, 1 in middle school and 1 in high school. My wife and I have been married for 20 years. We just welcomed 2 new additions to our family, Bella & Mia.

I have been teaching for over 20 years.

My passion for teaching comes from my desire to help others. Student success is my top priority!

Erin Hussey

Read My Story

Thank you for visiting my page! I am a special education teacher, and this is my seventh year teaching at GLLA. My passion for teaching comes from my desire to help others. Student success is my top priority! I welcome questions and comments, so please do not hesitate to contact me. I very much look forward to hearing from you!

Shannon Donaldson

Penne Wilson

Read My Story

I was born in California, raised and worked in Colorado, moved to New Mexico and then on to Washington State where I live on an island in Puget Sound. I have taught in middle school, high school and, college and been an assistant principal and a principal. I have earned a Bachelor’s degree in English with minors in Education and French, a Masters degree in Educational Administration, and a PhD in Organizational Learning and Instructional Technology with a dual emphasis in distance education and multimedia. I like to say that I started to school at four and never left. Teaching and learning are very important to me and whether you love English or hate it, I hope to help you become the best writer and communicator that you can be and perhaps to enjoy the literature that others have created to share their feelings, experiences, and beliefs.

Outside of the classroom I am a published poet, an artist, an avid gardener, and a bibliophile. I have two beautiful daughters, two adopted sons, three grandsons and one granddaughter. I share my home with two dogs and one cat.

Whether you love English or hate it, I hope to help you become the best writer and communicator that you can be.