Ms. Emil Little

Kindergarten Teacher


Ms. Little has a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College in Maine and a master’s in global and Chinese history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Ms. Little has taught high school in China and worked as a teaching assistant for college students before coming to Great Lakes Academy. Ms. Little is currently pursuing certification to teach elementary school.


Mr. Joseph Najor

Grade 1 Teacher


Joe Najor is homegrown, born and raised right here in Pontiac. He graduated from Wayne State University and has a passion for education. He has taught in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, and Pontiac. You can catch him on a lake somewhere, as he loves the outdoors. Mr. Najor enjoys writing children’s books, playing soccer, hiking, and swimming. He has traveled to Indonesia, Mexico, Canada, and many US states. An interesting fact about Mr. Najor is that he always wears one black sock and one white.


Ms. Molly Studier 

Grade 2 Teacher


Ms. Studier holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Central Michigan University where she graduated Cum Laude. She also holds an additional teacher certification in Language Arts. She has been working in education since 2013. While teaching in Detroit, Ms. Studier coached four seasons of 5th grade soccer though Detroit PAL.  

Ms. Studier works hard to provide a welcoming classroom community where students are not afraid to take risks. She has high expectations for her students and teaches them to have a growth mind-set. She believes that every student has his or her own learning style, and she is committed to tapping into every student’s full potential. She is proud to be an integral part of the Great Lakes Academy instructional team


Ms. Clarissa Guevara

4th Grade Teacher


Clarissa Guevara is originally from Wood Dale, Illinois. She received her bachelor’s in psychology with a minor in sociology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She played the piccolo in the marching band and was also on the rugby team there. She moved to Michigan about two years ago and has really enjoyed her time here so far! Some fun facts about her is that she has 2 crazy cats named Sami and Sophia, and is the eldest of 7 children. In her free time, she also loves to paint and cook new foods!


Mr. Gerard Powell

Art Teacher


Mr. Powell grew up in Northville Michigan, where he participated in Boy Scouts, art, music, sports, and enjoyed playing videogames.  In baseball, he was an All-Region center fielder in 2007 at Northville High School with a regular season record of 27 and 2, setting the school record for stolen bases. 

Mr. Powell also excelled at art from an early age and pursued animation and illustration at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree.  Mr. Powell previously worked at Ford Motor Company with skills in 3d creation.      


Mr. Jubara AbuSin

Grade 7 Teacher


Jubara AbuSin received a bachelor’s degree in English Language & Literature in 2007, and an MA in English Linguistics in 2011 from Omdurman Islamic University, Sudan. Between 2009-2017, Mr. AbuSin taught undergraduate students at Najran University, Saudi Arabia, and Omdurman Islamic University, Sudan.

In the United States, Mr. AbuSin has completed an MA in English Language & Literature at the University of Michigan-Flint in 2020 and currently working toward finishing a master’s degree in education at the University of Michigan-Flint. For the last five years, Mr. AbuSin has been a teacher of record in Flint School District, Genesee County. He has been putting theories of literacy instruction into practice while working with k-12 learners.

Mr. AbuSin’s teaching philosophy centers around enabling the students to participate in creating the knowledge themselves rather than becoming only the receivers of knowledge. Mr. AbuSin encourages students’ voices in the classroom and always celebrates diversity and multicultural practices. Mr. AbuSin supports classroom equity, and inclusion and promotes a sense of belonging. Mr. AbuSin is a father of three, two boys and a girl.

Mr. AbuSin is excited to work at GLA and to be part of a great community of faculty members, staff, students, and parents.


Ms. Deanna Jolley

Grade 7 Teacher


Ms. Jolley recieved her Bachelor of Arts in Education, Interdisciplinary Studies from Western Governors University and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Educational Leadership. She started teaching in 2017 and taught 4th and 5th grade math and science. 

She enjoys her time in the classroom with her students and learning about who they are and watching them develop their academics. She likes to spend her downtime with friends and family, read, and watch movies. 



Ms. Evee Sampson

Grade 5 Teacher


Ms. Sampson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saginaw Valley State University, where she majored in Psychology with a minor in Spanish.  She also holds a master’s degree in Higher Education in Student Affairs from Northern Michigan University where she also worked as a Resident Director, Assistant Director for New Student Orientation, and Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance. 

Ms. Sampson loves working at GLA because she believes it is a phenomenal establishment for young minds to be molded into our future leaders and educators.  In her spare time, she enjoys watching Disney movies and spending quality time with her family! One of her goals in life is to visit every Disney theme parks around the world!

Ms. Charla Holt

Grade 8 Teacher


Ms. Charla Holt holds a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree with a major in English from Oakland University. She has been working in the field of education since 2009.  She joined the Great Lakes Academy team in 2014.  It is an honor to serve the Great Lakes Academy family.

Ms. Holt is dedicated to cultivating academic excellence in to every student who enters her classroom.  It is her professional goal for 100% of my students to show academic growth.

Mr. Kent Baker

K-8 Physical Education/Health Teacher

District Athletic Director 


Mr. Kent Baker holds Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Michigan.  While attending U of M, Mr. Baker was a member of the Varsity track team.Coach Baker began his coaching career at Detroit East Catholic High where he was a part of 5 state championship track teams and 2 state runner- ups teams during his first 8 year coaching stint. From high school Coach Baker spent two (2) years teaching physical education and coaching at Central Michigan University. Coach Baker then accepted the Head Men’s Track and Cross Country Coaching position at the University of Toledo where he spent 14 highly successful years. In 2003, Coach Baker relocated to Florida where he began to guide his daughter’s career in junior tennis and also transitioned into his career in sports performance.  Baker also began teaching and coaching at Pinecrest School and American Heritage Prep School where he assumed a variety of roles in athletics and elementary physical education. While at AH Coach Baker watched his daughter win the Florida High School State # 1 singles and 1# doubles championship while leading her team to 3 straight state team titles. During that same time Coach Baker led American Heritage to their first of 2 state championships in girls high school track and also oversaw his girl’s middle school track team also capture a state title.List of former students of Coach Baker:

        Sony Michel Running Back New England Patriots 2019 Super Bowl Champions
        Sloane Stephens (WTATennis) – 2017 US Open Champion
        Brandon Knight  NBA Guard Detroit Pistons, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets
        Paul Sehzue  2000 Olympics Sydney Australia, Quarter-finalist Men’s 110 Meter High Hurdles
        Rachael James – Baker  Women’s Tennis, Baylor University-Big 12 Champions, U of NC- Chapel Hill – ACC Champions ) Nationally Ranked NCAA  singles





Mrs. Alexandrea Calme
Grade 6 Teacher

Lead Teacher – Professional Learning Community (PLC)


Mrs. Alexandrea Calme holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education degree from Wayne State University.

Mrs. Calme has held a passion for working with children for many years. She strives to create a positive learning environment at Great Lakes Academy. Her goal is to inspire our students to be successful members of our community.

Mrs. Calme appreciates how Great Lakes Academy integrates technology into the daily educational experience of our students.  She is proud to be a part of the safe and supportive environment that Great Lakes Academy provides our students.

Mr. David Loos

Math Interventionist and Grade 3 Teacher


Mr. Loos holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University, as well as an Elementary Education teaching certificate from Western Governors University.  He is heading into his third year with Great Lakes academy, as the technology teacher and math interventionist.  Mr. Loos has coached middle school and high school basketball for 12 years and also high school baseball for 10 years. He enjoys sports, and spending time with his wife and new born daughter. He has loved his time here working at Great Lakes Academy, and feels lucky to be able to teach our wonderful students and be part of a great staff.


Mrs. Catherine Lomnicki

Success for All Facilitator
Lead Teacher
Teacher Mentor
Assessment Coordinator
Reading Specialist
MTTC Coordinator


Mrs. Lomnicki holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Oakland University. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching Reading and Language Arts degree also from Oakland University. Mrs. Lomnicki is a certified Reading Specialist and has additional teacher certification endorsements in Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Mathematics. She is a founding staff member of the Great Lakes Academy family. She began her service in 1997.

David Bashaw

Musical Theatre Teacher


David Bashaw is our Musical Theatre teacher. After graduating from Oakland University and receiving a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre, he performed professionally for the Detroit Pistons for three seasons. In his free time, he enjoys singing, dancing, writing, and playing video games.


Subrenia Walker



Subrenia Walker is a paraprofessional who I will be co-teaching in the kindergarten classroom. She has over 20 years of teaching experience with early learners and holds a degree in Early Childhood Development. She says that she experiences so much joy working with early learners, and that they are so pure of heart. She loves seeing the spark in a child’s eyes when they discover or learn something new.




Ben Lubben



Graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in political science.  After graduating, he enlisted in the US Army, where he spent 10 years including two deployments to Iraq.  During his time in the Army, he graduated with a Master’s in International Relations from American Military University.  After the Army, he began work on a PhD in political science at Wayne State University (completed everything but the dissertation).  He has taught at various Metro Detroit schools.  He has also taught at West Shore Community College and Rochester University (MI).  He is an avid reader of military history and politics.   



Jessica McDaniel



Jessica McDaniel is a  Mentor, Life Coach, Author, and Entrepreneur from Detroit Michigan. Jessica is also the founder of her non-profit “You Glow Girl Mentoring Organization”, an organization dedicated to helping young women through mentoring and life skill workshops.



46312 Woodward Ave. Pontiac, MI 48342 ▪ Phone: 248‑334‑6434 ▪ Fax: 248‑334‑6457