Image of Mr. McMinn

Dan McMinn

Executive Director

Bachelor’s Degree, Secondary Education, Grand Valley State University; Master’s Degree, Educational Leadership, American Public University 

Dan McMinn has over 20 years of experience in secondary education and joined Great Lakes Learning Academy as Executive Director in 2023. His favorite part of the job is the daily challenge of building and growing something new. 

Why He Became an Educator

“I was coaching high school basketball while in college … and saw the connection between [my] words and the actions of the players,” says Mr. McMinn. “It was an interesting feeling to see someone take what I said and do their own thing with it, for another person to grow. That led to focusing on the classroom side and helped set the path for me.” 

Mr. McMinn believes that being able to connect with students across the state provides a great opportunity because they’re from so many separate places and live such different lives. The students’ unique personalities and passions support Great Lakes Learning Academy’s goal of focusing on each individual to help them become their own version of themselves. 

The Online Experience at Great Lakes Learning Academy

Mr. McMinn thinks there are many options available at this school to help make it work for each student—they’re not forced into a traditional, brick-and-mortar mold. When students have the flexibility to learn on their own timeline, they can grow and use classwork to pursue their goals. 

According to Mr. McMinn, “We are working to build a strong community based on leadership from the student-level up to administration. We want to build strong relationships by knowing our families and inviting them to share their experiences with us.” 

How This School Helps Prepare Students for a Bright Future

Great Lakes Learning Academy a solid program that provides a number of different ways to reach your goals,” Mr. McMinn explains. “By showing there can be other paths, rather than just A to B, it opens up ideas for students and families. This supports our idea that each student has a voice and allows us to support every student’s dreams and goals.” 

“I think sometimes we get too focused on what has been, and not what could be, and virtual options allow more of that creativity and growth.” 

— Mr. McMinn