New Principal Named at Great Lakes Cyber Academy

Great Lakes Cyber Academy's New Principal Heather Ballien.

New Principal Named at Great Lakes Cyber Academy

By FOX 47 News. CREATED Aug 1, 2013

OKEMOS, MI Great Lakes Cyber Academy (GLCA), a new tuition-free, virtual public high school, announced that veteran Michigan educator Heather Ballien has been named as principal for the school’s inaugural year. Set to begin serving high school students for the 2013–14 school year, Great Lakes Cyber Academy offers greater flexibility than a traditional brick-and-mortar school, as well as an award-winning curriculum.

Ballien brings 11 years of experience as a middle and high school principal and nearly 20 years of education expertise to Great Lakes Cyber Academy. Ballien also brings a passion for her students and a desire to make learning truly accessible to the position.

“My years of experience in education have taught me that every child learns differently, which is one of the many reasons I’m excited to come on board with Great Lakes Cyber Academy,” said Ballien, who is currently working toward her doctorate at Central Michigan University. “This school offers many paths and opportunities to its students that are often unavailable in a traditional setting. I’m looking forward to helping students from all walks of life learn and thrive in whatever track best serves the individual.”

An open enrollment public high school, Great Lakes Cyber Academy offers sessions throughout the full year, so students have the option of choosing from three flexible pacing options while attending. These tracks are:

  • Standard Pace: Students take a full course load in the fall and spring sessions.
  • Extended Pace: Students take fewer courses than a typical course load in the fall and spring sessions, but also attend the summer session. This track provides students with more time for other interests throughout the year while still completing a full workload over the course of the year.
  • Accelerated Pace: Students attend the fall, spring and summer sessions full-time, enabling them to graduate early or take post-secondary dual enrollment courses.

Great Lakes Cyber Academy is a fully-online, virtual public school that students attend from home. It combines high-quality education through a proven curriculum with state-of-the-art technology to deliver a secure, easy-to-use learning system. Great Lakes Cyber Academy creates a supportive environment for high school students who want an individualized approach to education by also requiring a Learning Coach, typically a parent or other responsible adult, to help monitor progress, oversee daily schedules and keep up motivation. The students also receive personalized attention from state-certified teachers and the opportunity to work at a pace that is right for them. Enrollment for Great Lakes Cyber Academy is underway for the 2013-14 school year. Information sessions, both in-person and online, are being held for families to learn more.

“We’re excited to welcome Heather to our Connections Academy family,” said Barbara Dreyer, co-founder and president of Connections Academy. “I am confident she will prove to be just the sort of leader our students need in order to cultivate a truly enriching educational experience.”

Prior to joining Great Lakes Cyber Academy, Ballien held the position of director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment at St. Charles Community Schools and East Jordan Public Schools, both in Michigan. In addition, Ballien has served as a full- and part-time teacher, including at the college level, and four years as a program coordinator working with teachers, students and parents to improve health and wellness for all. Ballien holds a master’s degree specializing in sports medicine from Western Michigan University, a bachelor’s degree in exercise and health science from Alma College, and a specialist in education degree from Saginaw Valley State University.

For more information about Great Lakes Cyber Academy, visit the school’s website or call
(855) GO4 -GLCA.