Board of Directors

Board Portal

Academy of Whole Learning is governed by a working Board of Directors composed of AOWL parents and committed community leaders.  They are responsible for the development and implementation of policies and programs that will enable the school to reach its educational, operational and financial goals. People who volunteer to serve on our board come from a variety of backgrounds, yet are all united in their passion for the mission of Academy of Whole Learning and its students.

2017-2018 Academy of Whole Learning Board of Directors


ATrAshley Lee – Chair

Ashley joined the Academy of Whole Learning Board in September 2014. She is a Senior Accountant in the at Boyum & Barenscheer where she uses her professional insight to help clients in various non-profit organizations and industries achieve their business goals. She received her BS in Accounting from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her specialty areas include business consulting,  audit and review services, and business and individual tax.  Ashley serves as the Board Chair and is on the Executive Committee.


JohnHigginsJohn Higgins – Vice Chair

John is CEO of Ligand Pharmaceuticals, a medical research and technology company.  Prior to Ligand, John was a senior executive at other biotech companies and an investment banker in New York City.  He is currently a Director of BioTechne, a publicly traded company headquartered in Minneapolis, and he has served on numerous other boards of public and private companies, including serving as Chairperson for CoMentis, Inc. and BlueZones.  John received his A.B. in economics from Colgate University, and was as a member of Colgate’s Board of Trustee.  John joined the AOWL Board in 2017, and his son is a high school-age student at the school.


Chris_Elliott-13-Web TWLSChris Elliot – Secretary

Chris joined the Board of Academy of Whole Learning in October 2013. Chris earned his MBA from the University of St. Thomas and works today as a communication and brand strategist.  Chris is dedicated to the mission of Academy of Whole Learning and the value it provides students each day.  Chris also serves on the Executive Committee for AOWL. Contact Information-




beckygibsonBecky Gibson – Treasurer

Becky is the Director of Sales for Lifetouch, National School Studios in Eden Prairie.  She directs $80 million in sales revenue and manages 800 employees including a seasonal workforce.  She has full P&L responsibility including regional B2B and B2C marketing plans.  Becky earned her MBA from the University of St. Thomas – Opus College of Business, an MSW from the University of Michigan and an undergraduate degree in psychology and Spanish from Central Michigan University.  Becky joined the board in August 2016 and serves on the Finance Committee.


AllisonBaroskoAllison Barosko – Parent Liaison

Allison joined the Academy of Whole Learning Board in 2017 and serves as the parent liaison.  She earned her B.S. in Arts Administration from Northwestern University.  After working for many years as a Human Resources Manager, Allison is currently a Family Advisor for the NICU at Children’s Minnesota.  She has three children; one in high school in Minneapolis Public Schools and two in elementary school at AOWL.



Rasmussen Wyayn 03Wyayn Rasmussen – Head of School, Staff Representative

Wyayn is in her fifth year advocating for the mission and vision of the Academy as the Head of School.  Wyayn earned her Masters of Education in Special Education from Bethel University in 2007, a Masters of Art in Organizational Management from Concordia University – St. Paul in 2001, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Oklahoma. Growing up in southern California, Wyayn has enjoyed many outdoor sports, including running 4 marathons. She recently added cross-country skiing to her efforts, although form and technique are yet to be achieved. Wyayn has 4 grown daughters and lives with her husband, Gef, and Labradoodle, Kova, in Plymouth, MN.


Members At-Large


RobDingmanRob Dingmann 

Rob is honored to have joined the Academy of Whole Learning Board in July 2017. He currently serves on the Governance Committee. After working many years in finance and accounting he co-founded tgbBRANDS and led their  operations. He currently works as a business consultant specializing in developing start-up companies.  Rob earned a BS in Accounting/Finance from St. John’s University.





Samantha Funk 

Samantha received her B.S. in Political Science from Clarkson University.  She currently manages BestPrep’s eMentors program, connecting classrooms with caring adults in the business world to further students’ career awareness and knowledge and develop professional email writing skills.  Students are matched 1:1 with an eMentors business volunteer.  She joined AOWL’s board in August 2016 and serves on the Development Committee.



Graham Jennifer sm-1Jen Graham 

Jen joined the AOWL Board in August 2015, and also serves on the Governance Committee.  She is the Vice President of Individual Medicare Advantage Product for the Medicare & Retirement segment of UnitedHealthcare. She has had various roles in product management, implementation, finance, legal and compliance.  She has a Masters of Planning degree from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.  Jen has two children, one in Minneapolis public school and one at AOWL.



FullSizeRenderCynthia Kerr 

Cynthia joined the Academy of Whole Learning Board in August of 2017 and serves on the Technology Committee.  She is an Engagement Manager at ClickSoftware, a leader in mobile workforce management software, and assists their top customers in increasing revenue, reducing costs and mitigating risks to their businesses.  Cynthia and her husband, have two children; one who attends St Paul Public Schools and the other attends AOWL.  Cynthia loves spending time with her kids and in her free time is an advocate for kids with fetal alcohol syndrome.  In fact, she fully understands the need and value AOWL brings as she was in the process of starting a school for her son when she discovered AOWL. 




Nate Knoerschild 

Nate joined the AOWL Board in September 2014. Nate is an attorney at the Minneapolis law firm of Chestnut & Cambronne, P.A., where he concentrates his practice in the areas of business litigation, real estate litigation, online defamation law, employment law, and medical malpractice. Nate also represents homeowner associations, commercial and residential property owners, and lenders on matters involving real property including violations of homeowner association governing documents, breaches of warranties, construction defects, and foreclosures. He additionally represents employers and employees in disputes arising in the course of employment and after employment has ended. Nate received his J.D. in 2007 from the University of Iowa. He serves as the Chair on the Governance Committee at Academy of Whole Learning.


LaFrence_head shot (1)

Janet LaFrence 

Janet joined the AOWL Board in August 2015.







Dan Martin 

Dan has served on the Board of Directors since September 2014 and has chaired the Technology Committee since October of 2012.  He also serves on the Executive Committee.  Dan brings prior experience in both the non-profit and education sectors. Dan is currently the Network/Systems Administrator at HRST, Inc. in Eden Prairie where he manages the day-to-day network operations of a multinational engineering firm. Prior to his work at HRST, Dan served as the Director of IT at Christ Church Lake Forest in Lake Forest, IL. He is currently working towards his BS in Information Technology at Western Governor’s University. Dan grew up in Maple Grove and currently resides in Minnetonka. His favorite activities when not working or volunteering are hunting, fishing, or anything outdoors in northern Minnesota! 


Patty_Salmon_4008_PRINTSIZEPatty Salmon 

Patty joined the Academy of Whole Learning board in September 2017 and serves on the Development committee.  Patty is a Trade Marketing Manager at Michael Foods in Minnetonka where she is responsible for assisting the marketing team manage their P&L and the sales team meet their sales targets using trade spend.  She previously worked for GNP Company, Kellogg’s, Best Buy, and Target in various roles including sales, category management and pricing.  She earned her BS in Finance from the Carlson School of Management and her MBA from Bethel University.  She joined the board because she is passionate about the mission of AOWL.  She hopes to be part of spreading the word about the school and helping AOWL to reach even more students.



imgresRobin Rumsey 

Robin joined the Academy of Whole Learning Board in October 2013. She serves on the Executive Committee. Robin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota and a Pediatric Neuropsychologist in the Autism Spectrum and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Clinic there. She received her Ph.D. in 2003 in School Psychology/ Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Robin has expertise in early identification of ASD, evaluation of neuropsychological functioning of children and adolescents with ASD, and facilitation of care coordination between caregivers, health care providers, and educators. She is married and has 2 elementary-aged daughters.