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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.


Martin Meleen, Assistant Principal
(906) 524-6000 Ext. 2

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. 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 one daughter.


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

My name is Melissa Scroggs. I am the K-12 Principal her at L'Anse Area Schools. I previously taught Special Education for 20 years. I have two sons who graduated from L'Anse.


Darrin Voskuhl, Director of Student Services, Food Service Director & Athletic Director
(906) 524-6000

I began my teaching career 10 years ago as a second grade teacher at C.J Sullivan Elementary school. I then moved to fourth grade for one year, and for the past 8 years, I’ve been teaching Elementary Physical Education. Along with teaching, I am also the Athletic Director for L’Anse High School.

I was born and raised here in L'Anse, MI, and graduated from L'Anse High School in 1999. I attended Northland College in Ashland, WI, and graduated in 2004 with a major in Elementary Education and Physical Education for grades K-12.

My hobbies include anything athletic. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends. If you have any questions please feel free to call or e-mail me anytime.



Holly Belanger
(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 22 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.


Sarah Briggs-McNeal
()906) 524-6000

My name is Sarah Briggs, and I joined L’Anse Area Schools in 2020. Previously, I worked at Gwinn Middle and High School as an English and Special Education teacher. I graduated from Northern Michigan University in 2004 with a B.S. in Political Science/Psychology. I later decided to earn my teaching certification and have now been teaching for seven years. I am excited to be here! My husband and I are rock pickers, and we love this area. In my spare time, I also enjoy reading, gardening, canoeing, camping, and spending time with my family and critters.


Amy Burmeister
K-12 Art
(906) 524-6000

Mrs. Burmeister is our new K-12 Art teacher - we are excited to have her join our team! Her bio is forthcoming...


Betty Cangemi
Science & Math
(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.


Lisa Cichosz
Math - Middle School
(906) 524-6000

My name is Lisa Cichosz and I teach Middle School Math. I was born and raised in L’Anse. I received my Elementary Education degree with a major in math and minor in language arts from Oakland University. I also have a masters degree in Instruction from Northern Michigan University. I currently reside in L’Anse with my husband Chad and our children Lola and Kale. Besides teaching, I enjoy sports, reading and being with my family.


Eric DeMink
Physical Education
(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.


Alanna Hamel
(906) 524-6000

My name is Alanna Hamel. I am originally from Texas, but consider myself a Yooper since moving to the UP in 2002. At that time I operated my own painting business, and was a practicing artist in the area for over ten years. In 2014 I graduated from Northern Michigan University with my teaching degree in Secondary Integrated Science. I then worked as a geological Chemist with a company serving the Eagle Mine for three years before I focused on education. After teaching 2 1/2 years at Ewen Trout-Creek School, I just recently joined L’Anse Area Schools in the past year where I currently teach Earth Science, Chemistry, and Conceptual Physics. I also am happy to note I recently acquired my Masters Degree in Clinical Molecular Genetics in 2019. I enjoy tying my career experiences into my teaching to give students points of academic relevance and ideas for future careers in STEM fields. I live in Champion with my husband and daughter. I enjoy getting outside and in nature as much as possible, and regularly garden, kayak, sail, and hike. Please feel free to contact me at any time with questions or concerns.


Richard Hartman
Social Studies
(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.


Dawn Howe
Physical Education
(906) 524-6000

My name is Dawn Howe and I currently teach Computer Science and P.E. in the Elementary. I also teach Computer Science and Study Skills in the Middle School. I graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor's Degree in Language Arts with a concentration in Elementary Education from Spring Arbor University. I live in Covington with my husband Brian, and we are the proud parents of two adult children, and very proud new grandparents to a baby boy. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, hiking, and hanging out at camp with the family.


John Jacobson
Special Education
(906) 524-6000

This is my 23rd year teaching at L'Anse High School. I have a son who is in college and I'm very proud of him, and I guess I am now qualified as an empty-nester. I recently retired from coaching high school football.

It was a tremendous 20 year experience working with so many young men in that position, but it was time to move on. I now get to be a fan and I can focus more on other things, such as teaching special education during a pandemic. It is sometimes hard to believe, but every year it seems like I appreciate my students even more than the year prior. So many of them surprise me by what they can overcome and achieve. I do try to push them hard to achieve their highest potential, and when they can't do anymore than what I am asking from them then that's when I try to provide as much support as I can. I consider education to be an incredible gift, and as I have gained more experience I have come to realize that achieving in education is one of the greatest accomplishments a person can do. It is absolutely one of my greatest thrills to see a student's confidence grow because they realize that they can learn and that once they get an education it is something that no one can ever take away from them. I work with students a lot in math, and I absolutely love the challenge of that discipline as it keeps me in touch with my inner nerd. So anyway, that's all I got, thank you for reading this to the very end, you did good!!!


Jennifer Knisely
Social Studies
(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. In 2017 I graduated with my Master's Degree in Learning Disabilities from Northern Michigan University. I was hired by the district in the fall of 2008. This school year I am teaching Civics & Economics, Psychology, and U.S. History.

I currently reside in Baraga with my husband and three children. 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.


Jennifer Lynn
Middle School Science
(906) 524-6000

Hello, I am Jennifer Lynn. I have 28 years of experience in education as a teacher and administrator. I was raised in southeast Michigan but fell in love with the Upper Peninsula while attending Northern Michigan University.
My teaching experiences include all grade levels and most subject areas from kindergarten through eighth grade. I have also served as both elementary principal and superintendent in a variety of districts, sometimes simultaneously. I completed a doctorate in educational leadership through Central Michigan University in 2019.
Being hired, 2018, in L’Anse allowed me to return to the heart of my career, teaching. Teaching science has always been my primary passion. So, returning to middle school science teaching is truly a welcomed homecoming.
I am married and have adult twin daughters. My hobbies include art and design, book clubs, travel, cooking, gardening, and simply enjoying the outdoors.


Nicole Maddux
English & Computers
(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!


Paul Moore
Special Education
(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.


Brooke Osterman
School Nurse & CTE Health Careers
(906) 524-6000

Mrs. Osterman is new in her position as our School Nurse & CTE Health Careers.

We are excited to have her join our team!

Her bio is forthcoming...


Aaron Poniatowski
K-12 Music & Yearbook
(906) 524-6000

Aaron Poniatowski started teaching at L'Anse in the fall 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. She will be teaching K-5 General Music, Sixth grade beginning band, Junior High Band (grades 7 and 8), Senior High Band, and Yearbook. 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.


Mark Smith
(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 33rd year of teaching, of which 32 will have been at L'Anse High School.

This school year I will be teaching NMU Precalculus, Algebra 2, Algebra 1, Algebra 2A, and Algebra 2B.

I currently reside along the Falls River in L'Anse. I enjoy steelhead fishing, running, and watching sports in my free time.


Kendra Turpeinen
(906) 524-6000

Kendra Turpeinen brings 20 years in education to L’Anse Schools and will be teaching English to freshmen, juniors, 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 over a decade 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.

Below are the links for each English class:








Orrin Vannest
Industrial Education
(906) 524-6000

I a veteran educator, have taught wood-shop for almost twenty years and have worked in school administration for almost another twenty years, taught math and physical education, coached football, baseball, volleyball, track, and served as an athletic director.

I have the ambition to develop a high quality wood-shop program at L'Anse characterized by especially fine student projects. I am very happily married and my wife Sharon is a peach! We have no biological children but some unofficially adopted youth (now grown with children of their own) and we are close, almost like family.

My 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. My life priorities: love God and love my neighbor (everyone).


Denise Wilder
(906) 524-6000

Denise Wilder
(906) 524-6000

Hi, I am Denise Wilder. This is my 21st 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. 2020-2021 classes include: 8th grade math, high school math lab and high school geometry.

To view my webpage, click below:







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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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