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.
2016-2017 Academy of Whole Learning Board of Directors
Janel Dressen – Board Chair
Janel was elected Chair of the Board of Academy of Whole Learning in January 2014. She is currently serving year second year as Board Chair and is on the Executive Committee. Janel is a business litigation attorney and shareholder at the Minneapolis law firm of Anthony Ostlund Baer & Louwagie P.A., where she represents individuals and companies in complex commercial, business and employment disputes. She routinely advises directors and officers on corporate governance issues, employment, insurance and contract related matters. Janel has two children, ages 10 and 8, who attend public school in Edina. She spends her “free” time serving on the Board of the Edina Swim Club, and volunteering for various organizations including Mary’s Place legal advice clinic, Legal Aid, Pro Se Project, Minnesota Federal Bar Association, Mount Olivet Church, Habitat for Humanity, Feed My Starving Children, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, and Normandale Elementary Parent Teacher Organization. Contact Information- firstname.lastname@example.org 612-492-8245.
Dan Martin – Board Vice- Chair
Dan was recently elected Vice-Chair of the Board of Academy of Whole Learning. He 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! Contact Information- email@example.com.
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 Chair of the Finance Committee at AOWL and is on the Executive Committee.
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- firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Nate Knoerschild – Member-At-Large
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.
Jodi joined the Academy of Whole Learning Board in September 2014. Her daughter Eve is a student at AOWL. Jodi serves on the Executive Committee and is the Co-chair of the Minds of All Kinds Breakfast. Jodi has a Master’s degree in Public Health Nursing from the University of Minnesota. She has served on St. Paul Public School’s Special Education Advisory Council. Jodi is excited to serve the school, students and staff of AOWL. Jodi lives in Saint Paul with her husband and their three children.
Jeff joined the AOWL Board in September 2014 and is a member of the Governance Committee. His son Cullen previously attended AOWL. Jeff is a managing counsel at Wells Fargo and works on federal tax controversy matters and litigation for the company. Prior to Wells Fargo, Jeff worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Green County Wisconsin District Attorney, and the United States Congress. He received his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1996. Jeff also serves as president of a homeowners association board and treasurer of a debating society. Jeff is married and has three other children who attend school in Eden Prairie.
Jen Graham – Member-At-Large
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.
Samantha Funk – Member-At-Large
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.
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.
Eric is the Director of Business Development at CBIZ. He has more than 15 years of experience in the areas of risk management, compliance and internal audit. Eric uses this experience, coupled with his familiarity with the financial services industry, to enhance his ability to work closely with companies to recognize the challenges with which they may be faced and identify the appropriate methods to solve these issues. He focuses primarily on identifying business opportunities with new clients. He works with companies and organizations in a variety of industries and primarily focuses on the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.
Manny is Vice President- Risk Management Services- Chairman of CHS Hedging & CHS Insurance at CHS. He serves as the General Manager for CHS’s business units providing risk management consulting and expertise to its member owners. In addition to serving on the board since 2015, he is the Board Chairman for Agri Intelligence Joint Venture, a small joint venture that researches precision agriculture technology and its potential impacts to growers and their businesses, and a Board Member for CHS Capital. Manny is a forward thinking financial executive with over 20 years of experience in strategic development, mergers & acquisitions, business integration, financial planning & analysis, project management, business transformation, negotiation, operational finance, and process design. Manny serves as a Strategic Planning Consultant for the board of directors.
Janet LaFrence – Member-At-Large
Janet joined the AOWL Board in August 2015.
Rachel Houle – Lead Teacher, Staff Representative
Rachel is a fourth year teacher at Academy of Whole Learning. Rachel works as a classroom teacher. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Integrated Elementary and Special Education from the University of Minnesota Duluth and holds dual Minnesota teaching licenses in Elementary Education and Special Education. Rachel spends her free time being active and trying new things. During this past summer, she branched out and went skydiving and ran her first half marathon. She also enjoys spending time with her family and friends and doing Crossfit.
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.