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Greg Wright
Executive Director

Greg has been immersed in educational nonprofit leadership his entire career. Arriving at North House in its fourth year, he has relished its strong community, powerful mission, and steady evolution. Northerner travelers by nature, Greg, his wife Jeanne, and daughter Olya prefer life outdoors. Chickens, bees, garlic, birch firewood, a CSA and some fiddling keep them moving.

Jessa Frost
Program Director

An educator by training, Jessa is passionate about lifelong learning, folk school traditions, and the connections of craft, community and landscape. She and her husband Eric play music in a variety of local venues and spend as much time as possible in the garden, the kitchen or the canoe with their friendly furball of a dog, Otis.

Kay Costello
Office Manager/Registrar

Citing its many magnetic qualities, Kay has moved to Grand Marais twice. Her grown sons have also returned to the shore--with wives, children and kittycats! Life is rich. When not counting beans at North House, Kay enjoys walking by the lake or in the forest, playing the piano, making dinner for friends, and reading reading reading.

Carolyn Fritz
Communication Manager

Carolyn, a Rochester, MN native, initially moved to Grand Marais in 2010 as a sailing intern at North House. Since then, Grand Marais has been home and has fueled her passion for nonprofit arts education, craft, and design. Carolyn can often be found out sailing the big lake, hanging out with her dog, Lettuce, exploring the woods, and designing things.

Cindy Lou Hansen
School Store Manager

Locally grown, (born and raised in Cook County), Cindy recently become a “townie” after moving to Grand Marais from waaaaay back in the woods where she’d co-owned and operated Sawbill Canoe Outfitters for 30+ years with her husband, Bill. Together they raised a couple more locals while living off-grid. She loves to tap dance and enjoys a good laugh!

Matt Nesheim
Program Manager

Raised on Lake Superior, intern alum Matt found his way back to North House after living on Puget Sound and serving in Peace Corps Paraguay. Turns out that managing an ever-increasing array of programming is a full-time gig. It’s never boring, and neither is a life of recreating, playing music, and making stuff.

Russ Viton
Facility Manager

Russ was born in Duluth, Minnesota, playing hockey, guitar and learning to speak Minnesotan; the latter came natural. He and his wife, Kathleen, spent 21 years directing a wilderness tripping and retreat center on the Gunflint Trail where they guided canoe and dog sledding trips into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and trained others to do the same.

Sarah Waddle
Program Manager

Sarah moved to the North Shore originally to work in environmental education. Though she keeps her hiking boots laced up, her job now lets her learn skills both in craft and in life from the North House interns, volunteers, and surrounding community. Outside of work, she cultivates her love of pickles, spinning, and swimming whenever possible.

Kathleen Viton
Office Assistant and Deckhand Coordinator

Born on the coast of Maine, Kathleen feels at home on Lake Superior. For twenty years she co-directed a wilderness camp next to BWCAW. She has spent a lifetime teaching and sharing her passion for the outdoors with others. Today you will find her greeting students at the campus office or working in Special Education as an Occupational Therapy Practitioner.

Mike Ulen
Facilities and Front Office Assistant

Mike, another former intern, fell in love with the joys of craft at North House. He found his way back after writing about folk schools while at Marlboro College in Vermont, studying at Ronshoved Hojskole in Denmark and interning at Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Vermont. He enjoys viking metal, woodworking, reading, thoughtful design, and being near the Big Lake.


Anne Grinager

Kirsten Wisniewski

Lauren Warfield

Samantha Martinez


Board of Directors

Nancy Burns, President
Susan Morrison, Vice President
Todd Mestad, Secretary
Paul Aslanian, Treasurer
Jane Alexander
Andrew Houlton
Layne Kennedy
Jana Larson
JD Lehr
Mary Levins
Todd Mestad
Mary Morrison
Mike Prom
Kathy Rice
Jim Sannerud
Carol Winter


See our full list of instructors

Employment Opportunities

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