Anishinaabe Academic Center


Maria Burnett

I am the Grand Portage Education Director, and I have worked for Grand Portage Reservation Tribal Council since January of 2015. I have earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Education from Baker College in Michigan, and I taught English and social studies in grades 6-12.

I advocate for the students of Grand Portage who attend school at ISD 166.  I oversee the Indian Home School Liaison program, supervise the AAC (Anishinaabe Academic Center—the staff is employed by Grand Portage Reservation), and coordinate with the Office of Indian Education (OIE) through the Minnesota Department of Education.


Phone: 218-475-2812/ cell: 218-370-2255


Carolyn Higgins

Hello! I have worked for Grand Portage for over 25 years. I spend most of my days working with elementary students at Sawtooth Elementary and Oshki Ogimaag Charter School. I help the students with their math and reading activities and worksheets.  I am also the Indian Home School Liaison.

My hobbies include gardening, taking care of my animals and spending time with my grandkids.


Phone:  218-387-2271 ext: 633

Lena Santos 


Phone: 218-387-2271 ext: 114

Ann Sullivan

Boozhoo! I have worked for Grand Portage for over five years now and have spent most of my time working with middle school students.  Although I was born in Minneapolis, I have spent a great deal of time here in Cook County over the last six decades. Being an educator for over forty years, I have taught at the middle school, high school, and university levels. 

I have earned an Associate of Arts from Normandale, a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota, a Master of Arts from St. Thomas, and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota. My passion is teaching, and I currently work in middle level math and English classrooms and serve as a volunteer instructor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.


I am happy to work before or after school with students; I can also assist students with their work via e-mail.  My contact information is listed below:

Email:  (This is the best way to contact me)

Phone:  218-387-2000, extension 117 (Three individuals share this phone and I am usually in the classroom, which is why email is better!)

Cody White

Originally I am from California, I was born in San Jose, in the Bay Area of the state. I graduated from CSU Chico with an Economics degree. During the summer while a student in college, I would work at a YMCA camp here in Minnesota. After accepting a position with the Y, I transitioned to Grand Marais. I am a proud parent of three young children and still learning about life in a small town. I have always enjoyed helping others and am greatful to do that everyday with the students of ISD 166. I serve as a math tutor, and I work mainly with high school students.  Although math in my primary focus, I also support students in other subject areas.



Phone: 602-799-2900 (Please leave me a message any time)


Martina Wigwas



My name is Martina Wigwas, and I am  Anishinaabe.  I come from Canada, and my reservation is Gull Bay First Nation.  I was born and raised with Ojibwe as my first language.  In 2008, I came to the United States to work for Grand Portage Lodge and Casino in the area of security.  My language skills resulted in my recruitment by the Grand Portage Education Department as the Ojibwe language instructor.  I teach both middle and high school Ojibwe here at ISD 166.



Phone:  218-387-2000, extension     (I am teaching during the school day, so I cannot answer the phone since that would interrupt instruction.  Feel free to leave a message)




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