We are excited to share all our news and events with our alumni, parents, donors and friends.  Our newest LeelaNews should be hitting your mailbox in the next several days.  If you don’t receive it and would like to, please email jpovolo@leelanau.org and we will put you on our mailing list.

Click this link to read online.

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October is ADHD Awareness Month. Dean Dauphinais, father of a 2014 Leelanau graduate, has had his blog about how our school transformed his son’s educational path chosen as one of the “Best Blog Posts on ADHD” for 2014. It’s number 12 on the page at the link below. If you click on the link to Dean’s blog at that page, it will take you his piece at the Huffington Post website. Feel free to leave comments about Leelanau in the comments section following the blog. 



“To our delight, between our son’s sophomore and junior years we found a little jewel of a boarding school that actually specializes in teaching kids with ADHD, ADD, dyslexia and other learning differences. A strength-based, experiential high school that offered what we thought would be the perfect alternative learning environment for our son. While we were driving home after touring the school, our son stated so eloquently: “I think this school could change my life.”

And change his life it did.

Our son went from feeling “lost” in school to feeling welcome. From getting poor grades to getting excellent grades. And from not wanting to go to school at all to absolutely loving it. He blossomed into that student we knew he could be, developed lifelong friendships with fellow students from around the world, and did things he never would’ve done in public school, like performing in plays; playing music and singing in front of crowds; writing songs; and performing slam poetry for his senior project. He even dyed his hair blue at one point.”

I wish for a day I could be in high school again, and be on that campus!!! Best school and best place on earth!!   Bevan Gottlieb (from Facebook)


We used to make cinnamon butter toasts on the way to Mr Wheeler’s senior English class until the chef started locking the cafeteria during class periods. I was reminded by the toaster station in the pix.  Jacob Jung Sung (from Facebook)


I recently graduated from the Leelanau School on June 12th 2014. This school changed my life. I started here lost and in another place, but I left it more grown up. I’ll be completely honest, I didn’t like being in a boarding school but it changed my life, it made me become way more confident than I was before. I met a variety of people and really built a bond among a few good friends and really bonded with the faculty and staff. Raoul Vardhan (from Facebook)


What a beautiful place to attend school! Love Mom Gail Dressell (from Facebook)


In the past few decades, a great deal of research and many theories have been developed to explain how students learn.  This is a growing area of research to help answer the questions about why students can achieve more in response to some teaching styles than others.

Since its founding, The Leelanau School has offered rigorous college preparatory curriculum delivered in a magnificent setting and has educated students with an appreciation for each student’s unique learning styles.

Looking back through historic documents and our archives, in The Leelanau School’s first several decades, teaching for unique learning styles was based on the Beal’s and Huey’s approach which included work programs, and investigatory methods.  Later decades involved teaching styles that were more typical of a traditional college-prep lecture-style, but the natural setting as a learning laboratory was a well-used enhancement.

In recent years, The Leelanau School’s educational philosophy integrated theories of multiple intelligences and the understanding of students having various learning styles, while incorporating hands-on teaching strategies.  This combined approach allows us to teach our students well  beyond the short-term knowledge needed to pass a test, by helping them process not only the “what,” “when” and “who” but the “why” and “how.”  For the motivated student, The Leelanau School’s approach ignites a passion for learning which helps our students thrive in school and beyond.

Leelanau students gain awareness of their individual learning styles, build skills and strategies to maximize their full learning potential, and as a result, are able to grow into independent thinkers and learners. Through discovery of each child’s unique gifts, The Leelanau School creates a culture of acceptance, while offering a rigorous academic program which results in placement of all our graduates in outstanding colleges and universities.

Academics are only part of the equation – we also weave into our daily lessons important opportunities to learn life-skills and the following values: stewardship, leadership, awareness, integrity, resilience, courage and interconnection.

While equipment and textbooks may have altered slightly over the decades, The Leelanau School’s philosophy that students learn best by experiencing the lesson in multiple ways has remained a constant.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

― Benjamin Franklin

The Leelanau School is as unique as each one of our students and our alumni.  Simply put, The Leelanau School believes there are many ways to be smart!


Our History

Celebrating our 85th Year!