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Jr/Sr High School


Staff & Faculty


High School Office Staff

Nicole Frisk, Secretary
906-524-6000 ext. 2

Hello! I have enjoyed my time working for the L’Anse Area Schools in the Special Education Department where I have been since 2014, and I am excited to be your Jr./Sr. High School Secretary.

I graduated from Westwood High School and went on to Northern Michigan University where I earned my Associate of Business/Legal Office Assistant Degree. After graduating, I spent some time working in two different law firms in Michigan and Wisconsin. I was lucky to have the opportunity to move back “home” to the U.P. and have resided in L’Anse with my husband, Cory, and daughter, Callie, since 2008. We love living here and feel blessed to be a part of this community!

In my spare time I enjoy being with my family and friends, along my two dogs, Rosco and Ruger. I also love camping, fishing, taking rides in the woods, watching sports events, playing softball, and bowling.


Heather Grentz, Counselor
906-524-6000 ext. 355

My name is Heather Grentz and I am the Jr/Sr. Counselor. I graduated from Northern Michigan University in the Spring of 2000 with a degree in elementary education. I started working in the District that fall teaching 5th grade. In 2004 I received my Masters from NMU in K-12 guidance counseling. After 7 years n the District teaching 5th grade I made the move to the Guidance Office. The counseling office can be used for individual student planning, responsive services, guidance curriculum, and system support.


Melissa Scroggs, K-12 Principal
906-524-6000 ext. 2 or 3

My name is Melissa Scroggs and this is my fifth year as the Jr/Sr High School principal. Previously I taught in Special Education for 20 years. My experience is in cognitive impairments and learning disabilities. My son attends L'Anse Area Schools and will graduate in the spring. In my free time I enjoy cooking, reading, and outdoor activities.



Laura Augustine
English 7 & 8; Study Skills 7
(906) 524-6000

Hello. My name is Laura Augustine and I currently teach 7th and 8th grade English. I am originally from Iron River and graduated from NMU with a Bachelor's degree in Music Education. My highly qualified status includes music K-12, English (secondary) 7-12 and science (7 and 8). I spent ten years teaching part time at Arvon Township School in Skanee. Other courses I have taught at L'Anse include 8th grade science, 8th grade careers, 7th grade literature, and 7th and 8th study skills. I currently live in Aura with my husband. I enjoy reading, all outdoor activities and traveling. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


Holly Belanger
French/Spanish Cultures 7; Spanish 8; Spanish I & II; Study Skills 7
(906) 524-6000

CLICK HERE Click here to view teacher Web site.

Hola! Bonjour! My name is Holly Belanger and I have been teaching world languages for 18 years. I currently teach Spanish to middle and high school students. Before coming to L'Anse, I taught at Berkley High School for seven years. I have a bachelor's degree from Central Michigan University and a master's degree from Wayne State University. In my free time, I enjoy being with my husband and friends. I also like to ski, fish, snowshoe, hike, kayak, go to the movies, read, travel, cycle and entertain my dogs.


Betty Cangemi
Biology; AP Environmental; Statistics; Anatomy & Physiology
(906) 524-6000

I graduated from L’Anse High School in 1986. I then attended Michigan Technological University and graduated from there with a bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences. I obtained employment with a major corporation where I stayed for five years. The corporate world was not my calling and I returned to MTU and obtained my secondary teaching certification. I have been employed by L'Anse Area Schools since the fall of 1999. I teach AP Biology, Biology, AP Environmental Science and Physiology/Anatomy. I love teaching these classes and really enjoy the students I have every year. It's great to get a student in Biology of sophomore year and watch their knowledge grow each year as they progress through Life Science courses I teach. Outside of school my biggest past time is fishing and camping with my family. I also try to make time to enjoy my horses.


Eric DeMink
Gym I & II; Cardio Weightlifting & Gym 6, 7 & 8
(906) 524-6000

I'm originally from the Detroit area, but have lived in Baraga County since 2006. I attended Northern Michigan University and graduated in 2009.

I was previously teaching at L'Anse Baraga Community Schools the past two years.

I have two children at LAS, and am currently teaching physical education and coaching Junior Varsity Football.


Heather Grentz
Jr/Sr High School Guidance Counselor
(906) 524-6000

My name is Heather Grentz and I am the Jr/Sr High School Counselor. I graduated from Northern Michigan University in the Spring of 2000 with a degree in elementary education. I started working in the District that fall teaching 5th grade. In 2004 I received my Masters from NMU in K-12 guidance counseling. After 7 years in the District teaching 5th grade I made the move to the Guidance Office. The counseling office can be used for individual student planning, responsive services, guidance curriculum, and system support.


Richard Hartman
Social Studies 7; Computers 6; Current Events; World History & Geography
(906) 524-6000

Rick Hartman is a former student of the L’Anse Area Schools. He travelled around the U.S. working and seeing the country for a number of years prior to entering military service with the U.S. Army in 1996 as a Field Artillery RADAR operator. Following his time in the Army, he attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth studying Secondary Social Studies Education with a focus in History carrying minors in History and Geography. In 2011, Rick began work for the Edison Charter Schools of Duluth serving in many roles including co-teaching in Middle School Math and History. Desiring to return to the U.P. he relocated to Baraga County in 2014 after subbing in L’Anse and Baraga during this school year, he was offered a position in China as an English Language teacher for 4th and 8th Grade students in Jiangsu Province. While in China he was invited to return and teach in Beijing at North China University of Technology where he taught spoken, written, and a graduate level academic writing courses in English. Still wishing to return home to L’Anse, he accepted the Title VI position for the 2017-18 school year during this time he obtained his Michigan Teaching Certificate in Social Studies and Middle School education. In August, he accepted a Social Studies Teaching position at LHS. Mr. Hartman is excited to be back home in L’Anse and working with the students here. When he is not working, he enjoys coffee, fishing, playing table tennis, singing and spending time walking or driving in the woods.


John Jacobson
Alt. English & Academic Lab
(906) 524-6000

First of all, I am the proud father of my son, Paul, who attends L'Anse High School. I was born in Manhattan Beach CA., but I lived in Sidnaw during my school years. I have been working in the L'Anse middle/high school for over 18 years. I graduated from L'Anse High School in 1987 and after graduation I attended Mesabi Community College in Minnesota and then Northern Michigan University where I attained a degree in Business Administration. I worked in retail management for 5 years and was fortunate enough to leave that line of work and begin my teaching career. I also attained my teaching certificate from NMU where I became certified to teach special education and psychology. For most of my teaching career I have been active in coaching football and high school track. I have also coached several of my son's community league baseball teams.


Jennifer Knisely
Civics/Economics; U.S. History & Geography; Psychology; Teaming Leadership 8
(905) 524-6000

Hello, my name is Jen Knisely. I grew up in Baraga and graduated from Baraga High School in 2004. I then attended the University of Michigan where I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education in 2008. I was hired by the district in the fall of 2008 and am in my 9th year of teaching at L'Anse. I am currently working on my Master's degree in Learning Disabilities from Northern Michigan University. This school year I am teaching Civics & Economics, Psychology, and U.S. History & Geography.

I currently reside in Baraga with my husband and son. I enjoy watching and playing sports, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with my family and friends.

Parents and students, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns throughout the school year.


Allison Koskinen, R.N.
Health Occupations I & II, Health 9 & Nurse
(906) 524-6000 ext. 202

I was born and raised in L’Anse. I graduated from LHS attended Northern Michigan University where I received my Bachelors of Science in Nursing (2017). I have since then been working as an RN in Labor & Delivery and at the BCMH clinic. I am so grateful my path has brought me back to the L’Anse Area Schools as the School Nurse, Freshman Health and CTE Health Careers instructor. I am excited and eager to be a resource for all students and staff K-12. Outside of helping ease bumps, bruises & tummy aches, I enjoy running, renovating homes & spending time with my lovely friends and family!


Jan LaFave
Algebra I; Algebra I 8; Math 7; Study Skills 6
(906) 524-6000


I graduated from L’Anse High School in 1998. I received my Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan Technological University in mathematics. I have lived in many places including lower Michigan, Oklahoma, and Ohio. I spent over 10 years working in the financial industry. In 2015, I decided to pursue a teaching career and started working at Sacred Heart School as the middle school teacher. I am excited to be working in L’Anse Middle School teaching 7th grade math and 8th grade Algebra 1.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, being outdoors, and reading.

Please feel free to contact me at any time!


Linda Lohmann
Elementary Art; Art 6 & 8; Art I, II & Advanced
(906) 524-6000

I enjoy teaching 6th, 7th and 8th Grade Art , Art I, Art II, and Advanced Art and Ceramics, as well as a 6th grade study skills class.

I attended The School of the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston in affiliation with Tufts University. I hold a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art. I received my teaching certification from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

I live in Houghton. In my spare time I enjoy making art, looking at art, reading, growing flowers and vegetables, and spending time with friends and family.

My goal as a teacher is to guide my students through the process of making art and allowing the art that surrounds us to become more relevant in our lives and communities.


Nicole Maddux
English 6; Study Skills 8; Computer/Business Applications; Peer Mentoring Odyssey
(906) 524-6000

Hello! My name is Nicole Maddux. I currently teach 6th grade English and 8th grade Study Skills. I have a B.S. degree in Education with a major in English and a minor in Speech Communication. I have a M.A. degree in Communications/ Media Arts, both from Wayne State University. I live with my husband and our daughter. When I am not a school, I love to spend time with my family, watch movies, and travel. I am happy to be teaching at L’Anse Area Schools and participating in this wonderful community!


Martin Meleen
Work Based Learning Networking; Personal Finance; Accounting
(906) 524-6000

Mr. Meleen has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education at Ferris State University and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration and Supervision at Northern Michigan University.

He teaches Business Applications, Personal Finance, CTE Accounting, Work Based Learning, and Networking. He is the L'Anse Career and Technical Education Coordinator and Technology Coordinator. His teaching career began in 1987 at L'Anse High School.

His hobbies include hunting, fishing, and spending time at camp. He lives in Aura and is married with one son and daughter.


Paul Moore
Alternate Algebra I & II, Alternate Geometry & Math, Current Events & Job Skills
(906) 524-6000

I have been teaching in L'Anse for 15 years. I currently teach high school Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra II in the Resource Room and 6th, 7th and 8th grade math also in the Resource Room. In addition, I also assist students during Academic Lab and work with students in Current Events. I serve as the District's Special Education Coordinator, CIMS Coordinator, Special Testing Coordinator for SAT, and am the adviser for Youth In Government. I can be found in room 316 or can be reached at extension 379. My e-mail at school is listed above. Please drop me a line through e-mail, if I can be of assistance to you or you have a question for me.


Aaron Poniatowski
Elementary Music; Band 6, 7/8; Senior Band; Yearbook
(906) 524-6000

Aaron Poniatowski started teaching at L'Anse in the fall of 2005. She graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Music Education (2005) and a Masters in Music Education (2012). Aaron's primary instrument is the trumpet, but does play all woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments and is currently learning the guitar. She will be teaching K-5 General Music, Sixth grade beginning band, Junior High Band (grades 7 and 8), Senior High Band, and Yearbook this year. She is also the director of the Marching and Pep Band for the football and basketball games and the Senior Class Advisor. Aaron lives in L'Anse with her son James. She enjoys playing trumpet with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, listening to live music, walking, and spending time with her son.


Mark Smith
PreCalculus; NMU Calculus; Algebra II & Math Lab
(906) 524-6000

I'm originally from Ironwood, MI and graduated from Ironwood High School in 1983. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Michigan Tech in 1988, and my Master’s Degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from Northern Michigan University in 1994. This will be my 29th year of teaching, of which 28 will have been at L'Anse High School. This school year I will be teaching Algebra 2 Math Lab, AP Calculus, Algebra 2, PreCalculus, and Practical Math. I currently reside along the Falls River in L'Anse. I enjoy steelhead fishing, running, and watching sports in my free time.

Click below to view my website:



Joshua Thelander
Social Studies 6, Native American History 7, History 8 & Personal Finance
(906) 524-6000

Hello! I am excited to be teaching 6th and 8th grade Social Studies this year, along with Native American History and Personal Finance.

I am originally from Traverse City, and I earned my degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from Ferris State University. I am enthusiastic about Civics, and I will be working to help students explore their citizenship.

I look forward to exploring the Copper Country and its history and expanding my knowledge of Native American History by learning from the local Ojibwe tribe. I am also waiting to see if the UP winter lives up to its legends...


Kendra Turpeinen
English I & IV; AP English; Multi-media 8
(906) 524-6000

Kendra Turpeinen brings 18 years in education to L’Anse Schools and will be teaching English to freshmen and seniors this year. She was born and raised in Hancock, MI, but left the Copper Country to attend Bethel University for her teaching license. Her first teaching job was in central China at a boarding school, where she worked with high school students who were learning English as a foreign language. She returned to the U.P. in 2001 and spent 11 years at Chassell High School. Her interest in supporting teachers to be successful in rural schools led her to complete a doctorate in education from Walden University. Kendra has worked with many kinds of students, from age 11 to adults, both in the United States and overseas. She loves to travel, share good books with her kids, and go on camping adventures.


Orrin Vannest
Precision Machining; Machine Woods
(906) 524-6000

Orrin Vannest Bio:

-veteran educator, has taught wood-shop for almost twenty years and has worked in school administration for almost another twenty years
-has also taught math and physical education
-has coached football, baseball, volleyball, track, and served as an athletic director
-ambition to develop high quality wood-shop program at L'Anse characterized by especially fine student projects
-very happily married, wife Sharon is a peach, no biological children but some unofficially adopted youth (now grown with children of their own) are close, almost like family
-interests include: God's creation, wildlife, habitat development, property development, planting trees and shrubs, food plots, design and building, architecture, astronomy, physics, photography, exploring, fishing, bow-hunting
-life priorities: love God and love my neighbor (everyone)


Kevin Weed
At-Risk Teacher
(906) 524-6000

Kevin Weed will be serving as the At Risk Intervention teacher this year. Mr. Weed spent 18 years teaching high school English, journalism and film. He began his career in Marquette, then spent 14 years in downstate Hamilton, Mich., before returning to the Upper Peninsula to serve as an elementary building principal for two years in Iron Mountain.

He is a graduate of Northern Michigan University, where he also received his Master's degree in educational pedagogy. In addition to his love of reading, writing, history and film, Mr. Weed enjoys travelling. He spent one year of graduate school in Hikone, Japan, studying Japanese language and culture, and explored his Irish heritage with a month-long trip to Ireland with his wife Karen for their honeymoon.

Prior to teaching, Mr. Weed worked for several years in sports journalism, including stints at the U.S. Olympic Committee and NBC Sports. As a native of metro Detroit, he is fan of all things Detroit - even the Lions - but especially the team that plays his favorite sport of ice hockey - the Red Wings.


Cara Wightman
Earth Science; Science 7; Conceptual Physics; Chemistry I
(906) 524-6000

Hello, I am in my 7th year of teaching, but my second here at L’Anse. I am currently teaching Environmental Earth Science, Chemistry I, Conceptual Physics, and Science 8. I graduated from Jeffers High School and furthered my education at Michigan Tech where I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Chemistry, and Integrated Science. My husband and I enjoy spending time with our families and friends. We have three cats, two turtles, and many fish. I enjoy getting out into the wilderness but haven’t had much time to enjoy it recently. I do find time to play hockey, my all time favorite sport, and hope to have more time to enjoy the little things in life now that I’m closer to home. I’m excited to be teaching at L’Anse and look forward to sharing my love of science with you!

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns throughout the year. I welcome your calls (ext. 373) and emails and can set up time to have a conference if needed.


Rachael Wilber
Science 6, 7 & 8
(906) 524-6000

Hello! My name is Rachael Wilber and I currently teach Science for grades 6, 7 and 8.

This is my seventh year teaching, and my first year at L'Anse. I grew up in Ontonagon (graduated 2006) and attended Northern Michigan University (Bachelor's in Biology) as well as Grand Valley State University (Masters in Education). Between attending those universities, I coordinated the High Five program through Big Brothers Big Sisters in L'Anse, Baraga, and Calumet schools. I sure missed spending time in this school and am glad to be back in the UP!

In my spare time, I enjoy most things outdoors (especially hiking and four-wheeling), anything related to music, and reading. I am also coaching Varsity Cheer this year. I have coached several teams before, but am so glad to be working with this team in particular! I very much look forward to working with the staff at this school and getting to know each of the students.

Go Hornets!


Denise Wilder
Geometry; Math 6; Math 8
(906) 524-6000

Denise Wilder
(906) 524-6000
Hi, I am Denise Wilder. This is my 20th year at L'Anse Area Schools. I received a B.S. in Mathematics from Alma College in 1985 and an M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction from Andrews University in 1989. I have previously taught M.S. and H.S. Mathematics in South Haven, Lawton & Bangor, Michigan. I also worked as a Curriculum Specialist for Southwestern Michigan Community College. I am married and have 3 children. I am proud to be a member of the L'Anse staff and community. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you (students, parents or guardians) have questions regarding the classes I am currently teaching. 2019-2020 classes include: 6th grade math, 8th grade math and high school geometry.

To view my webpage, click below:






Posted September 19, 2019
Wellness Committee Meeting 3:30 PM
The Wellness Committee is looking for parent and community representatives. The Wellness Committee ...

Posted August 20, 2019
2019-2020 Calendar

Posted August 20, 2019
Athletic Passes Now Available!
Athletic Event Gate Fees & Season Passes are listed
on the .pdf below. ...





For more athletics information, view Schedule Star.

The L’Anse Area School is a drug/alcohol/tobacco-free campus
for everyone including students, faculty, parents, and community members.

Susan Tollefson

L’Anse Area Schools Central Office
201 North 4th Street  •  L’Anse, Michigan 49946  •  906.524.6000


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