When you ask a student of the Marquette Alternative High School to tell you about their learning experience, their answer is simply this: it's not what everybody thinks it is.
"I like the environment and I like the way that they teach here; it's better learning for me and I just really like it here," says senior Lindsay Niemisto.
A small student-to-teacher ratio allows for more individualized learning. Elective classes, like photography, give students the chance to showcase their creative skills.
Cynthia DePetro has been teaching photography, English, and publishing at the alternative high school for six years.
"We take into consideration each individual student's needs and paces," says DePetro.
There are more than 120 students enrolled in the alternative high school, and there's a waiting list. This year the school moved into the second floor of the Graveraet building. The school, previously housed in the Marquette bus garage, now has more space and typical rooms they didn't have before, like a gym and cafeteria.
It's an environment that both students and staff appreciate.
"I love teaching here," DePetro says. "Every day is a challenge and every day is a new adventure, and I love that aspect of my job."
"We teach to the student and not to the subject," administrator Tony Parlato emphasizes. "The important part is that the kid understands.
As part of the Marquette Area Public School District, the alternative high school is a second option, meant for students that the traditional classroom setting doesn't work for.