Image of Mr. Southard

Luke Southard

Middle School and High School Teacher

Bachelor’s Degree, Science, Bowling Green State University; Master’s Degree, Science Education, Montana State University 

Luke Southard started teaching in 2015 and joined Great Lakes Learning Academy in 2021. He is a homeroom teacher for students in grades 6–12 and teaches science to students in grades 9–12. 

Why He Became a Teacher

“I grew up in the scouting program and learned quickly that I enjoyed working with younger scouts, teaching different skills, running activities, etc.,” explains Mr. Southard. As the child of a chemistry teacher and a music teacher, it only seemed natural to enter the teaching profession.

“I began my teaching career in Connecticut. … Through the pandemic I learned that I have a passion for online teaching and learning and making quality education accessible to all students. I decided to move back home to the Midwest to be closer to family, and that is where I found Great Lakes Learning Academy.”

The Online Experience at Great Lakes Learning Academy

Mr. Southard greatly enjoys one-on-one moments and interactions with his students. He likes that our online environment allows students to learn at a time and place that works for them and suits their individual style of learning.  

He provides a wide variety of materials and resources to his students to aid in their learning. His favorite field trip was seeing the musical Hamilton in Grand Rapids with some Great Lakes Learning Academy families. 

What Parents Considering Enrolling Their Child Here Should Know

“Great Lakes Learning Academy truly has teachers who care,” reports Mr. Southard. “We are here for our students and want the best for them. We are excited to work with parents to do everything we can to develop our students’ skills, knowledge, and passions, and [to help them] reach their educational goals.

“When most adults are ready to begin learning a new skill, they often start online and/or working with a teacher or expert. At [Great Lakes Learning Academy], we have both. In the virtual world, we can connect students [with] experts more easily. Students become self-directed learners and develop their passions [here].”

Mr. Southard’s Personal Interests

“I absolutely love the outdoors,” says Mr. Southard. “From hiking to swimming to skiing and camping, I love to be outside. When I’m not at home on my six-screen display, you can find me lost in the woods, swaying between two trees, playing my ukulele.”

“I like my students to know I am here for them when they need me.”

— Mr. Southard