Campus Leadership - Waalkes Campus

Matthew Milanowski; School Princial


Matt holds a bachelor's degree in secondary education and a Master's degree in special education from Grand Valley State University and is currently completing the Educational Specialist Program for Leadership at Western Michigan University. He has supported Lighthouse Academy The Pier, Waalkes and The Port students academically in various roles since 2013, primarily as a teacher of English, social studies, and special education.

Matt has served as the School Leader for The Pier, The Port, and Waalkes since 2019, where he is involved in the creation and implementation of a district-wide Multi-Tiered Systems of Support in Reading and Mathematics to promote student achievement for all students. He is also involved in the collaborative process of developing a Student Passport to support students in successful transition between secondary schools and into the post­ secondary phase of their life.

Lucas Yax; Assistant Superintendent of Residential and Juvenile Justice Youth School Programs.


Lucas obtained a Bachelor's degree from Ashford University before completing his Masters in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education. Lucas started working with at-risk youth as a Youth Specialist and Chemical Dependency Tech at the Brown County Evaluation Center from 2004-2006.

He has served in multiple roles including Youth Specialist, Shift Supervisor, Activity Therapist, and Education Specialist with Wedgwood Christian Services for 3 years before being employed as the Responsible Thinking Advisor with Lighthouse Academy in 2009. Lucas served in this role until 2016, when he transitioned to the MTSS/PBIS Coordinator for the District and then into the Principal role at the Lighthouse Academy Waalkes and Pier programs from 2015 to 2020.

Currently, Lucas serves as the Assistant Superintendent of Residential and Juvenile Justice Youth School Programs including Lighthouse Academy Waalkes, The Pier, South Residential and JDC.

Lighthouse Academy - Waalkes 1501 Cedar St. NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503 P: (616) 965-9700 F: (616) 301-3439