Leelanau School Alumni & Friends
Attending our annual reunions are just one way for Leelanau School alumni & friends to stay in touch.
We welcome you as Leelanau School Alumni & Friends in all forms to come and visit our campus at any point in the year. We love visiting our alumni when we are out and about. Please contact Julie Povolo – 231-334-5827 to set up a time to reconnect.
Make sure to like us on Facebook and if you are on Twitter, also follow us. There is so much to be amazed at by this great school. We want to hear and share your news and help you connect with each other.
On Facebook recently, Leelanau graduates answered this question: “Alumni – what do you miss the most after you leave The Leelanau School?” Here are some of their answers.
“Beauty.” –Jonathan Kurtz
“I second this response.” –Jay Perkins
“The food.” –Bill McLaughlin
“I always think back to the beauty of the creek, the woods, the ski hill, the lake and beach, and the smell of northern Michigan! The term ‘God’s Country’ basically fits.”–Dee Anderson Tarpoff, ’64
“Dee and Jeff took my words, but I’ll add the friends I made and have stayed in touch with, especially through email and Facebook.” –Corky Foster
“The Crystal River.” –Dave Murrell
“The natural beauty…” –H. Hope O’Quinn Hana
“Friends—So long ago, so far away…” –Edward Barry
“Independence in a safe environment allowing me to explore my life and the future with a few remarkable guides. The school’s setting enhanced and expanded both my exploration and my appreciation for the natural world.” –Bob Zimmerman
“I wish I had said this. In 10th grade my class had 600 plus. I was a fish in the ocean. At Leelanau I could do all!!” –H. Hope O’Quinn Hana
“Friends and teachers that were like family to me.” –Jen Kikendall-Wilkinson
“I agree completely.” –Jeni Sjoquist
“Leelanau changed the trajectory of my life and gave me the time, tools, knowledge, space, and encouragement to be possible and grateful…and successful.” –Catherine Graham
“I missed the water all around me; the sense of place, rootedness and predictability; and the uniquely safe space to grow emotionally. I also now miss being compelled to get out and do something active every day, even if I did not appreciate the sports/activity program at the time.” –Sonja Dean
“Sunsets on Lake Michigan.” –Todd Jaremko
“The fun, feeling like you’re in college at age 13.” –Doug Fernbacher
“The peaceful quiet after a heavy snowfall, the sunsets, friendships.” –Beth Taylor
“Walking on Alligator Hill in the snow and the quiet, discovering deer beds and seeing porcupines in the trees.” –Melissa Richter Ayers
“The wonderful people, the natural beauty, and falling asleep to the sound of the waves.” –Janice Winemiller Turner
“I miss the beauty, the sense of community, walking along the beach during any season, Sleeping Bear, and so much more. Just a lovely place with lovely people and a culture unique to Leelanau.” –Jeni Sjoquist
“The food!” –A.J. McAlear
“I also miss the skunk by Pinebrook. It was fairly tame and never sprayed. We often saw it in the morning around dusk, rooting around the leaves. It was super cute.” –Sonja Dean
“Norm Wheeler!” –Anna Harrison Hjortsberg
“Absolutely! Norm you are one of a kind. I remember going to Art’s Tavern for a lesson on inertia and momentum via the pool table and many other unconventional methods of teaching. How many schools are there where you can honestly say that you LOVE your teachers and mean it in the familial sense, knowing that they are investing genuine interest in you as a whole person? I’d say very few schools and fewer teachers. Truly a family and life was terrific. ‘Wherever you go there you are!’ –Buckaroo Buckaroo Banzai via ‘Uncle Norm.’ That quote also applies to the people and places you hold dear to your heart.” –Jeni Sjoquist
“A more appropriate question would be what don’t you miss because I miss it all…. Wheels, Blondia, Karner teaching bio in a head stand on the edge of my desk, the beauty, sense of constant inner peace, the Crystal River, dinner with my boys (Davin and Rob of course), Fiffy hounding me about something, and most importantly knowing that I’ll always have a place where I belong. Leelanau is simply home. As Norm Wheeler would say ‘Viva La Leelanau!’ Always and forever.” –Trisha Smith Kozlik