History of The Leelanau School: Pt 4

In 2004 the school celebrated its 75th Anniversary with several events including a 75th anniversary party.


The goal of providing a quality program like it’s Eastern Prep School counterparts in an effort to improve enrollment drove costs up while attendance continued to drop. The Board embarked on a corporate review of the secondary education market, hiring consultant Crane Metamarketing. Crane recommended a Canadian education expert, Brian Proctor to review Leelanau. Brian suggested Leelanau focus on the Learning Differences Education. Leelanau has been helping students for years with these challenges along with its college preparatory students.

In September, 2004, the Board approved an official refinement of its focus to serving students with language-based learning differences, such as dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, depression, low self esteem, anxiety, Aspergers disorder – as diagnosed by a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

In the last fifteen years, the alumni’s interest in their school has grown considerably thanks to the efforts of the Alumni Director, Fiffy Petty. Each summer brings an increasing number of alumni back to school to reminisce with their classmates and teachers at Leelanau. This common experience in the woods of Northern Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan, and banks of the Crystal River, unite all generations of Leelanau Students.

In the words of “Major” Huey in 1984…

“All the teachers were involved with the student activities. You had to really love education to be on the staff of the Leelanau School in those days. You worked there full time. You had a day off–but you had your satisfaction and pleasure out of participating with the students. It was a wonderful setup and the students formed great friendships with the teachers.”


Tom Hilton, Walter Geiger, Al Miller, Ken Jordan Art Deikoff, Major Huey, Harold "Coach" Sweeny

Tom Hilton, Walter Geiger, Al Miller, Ken Jordan Art Deikoff, Major Huey, Harold “Coach” Sweeny


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