Faculty and Staff

02-teacher-louisLouis Bakalars, Teacher Associate

Louie serves as a Teacher Associate in the Lake Nokomis classroom. He received his Bachelors degree in Neuroscience from the University of St. Thomas.  Prior to joining Academy of Whole Learning, Louie was a Program Coordinator with Fraser’s Supervised Living Department.

 

 

 


Lindsey Brandt, Director of AdvancementBrandt Lindsey 03

Lindsey earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from George Mason University. Prior to becoming the Director of Advancement, Lindsey was a classroom teacher and Admissions Coordinator at AOWL.   Lindsey is from Northern, VA which is where she started her education journey with Fairfax County Public Schools; beginning in a first grade classroom for practicum hours then completing her student teaching program as a second grade teacher. Following student teaching Lindsey became a first grade teacher at the same school. Before moving to Minnesota she taught at a private school for students with special needs in Houston, TX for two years.


01-teacher-georgetteGeorgette Briggs, IT Coordinator

As the Technology Coordinator, Georgette keeps the network, computers and devices updated and in working order. Georgette has earned her Associates in Computer Science from the Minnesota School of Business. In addition to her work with the Academy, Georgette serves the country as a United States National Guard member in the 34rd Infantry Division with the rank of Sergeant.

 

 


SarahCSarah Crowley, Teacher Associate 

Sarah is a Teacher Associate in the Gooseberry Falls classroom.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN.  She previously worked at a non profit in their Youth Response Center as a Crisis Counselor.

 

 

 


02-teacher-kateKate Drechsler, Classroom Teacher

Kate recently graduated with her Bachelors in Elementary Education from Australian Catholic University in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Kate moved to MN in November 2015 and is in her second year working at AOWL.

 

 

 


01-teacher-mikeMike Faeth, PhD  Language Arts Specialist and Classroom Teacher

Mike is a Language Arts/Social Studies Specialist and teaches in the St. Croix Falls classroom.  He received his PhD (ABD), MA in History and BA in History, Political Science and Spanish.  Prior to joining Academy of Whole Learning, Mike was an Associate Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and a Lecturer at the University of Minnesota.
 
 
 
 

01-teacher-sarahSarah Fitzgerald, M.Ed.   Classroom Teacher

Sarah teaches in our in the Temperance River classroom.  She earned her Bachelors degree in Elementary Education Foundation and her Masters in Education from the University of Minnesota.  Sarah is licensed in Elementary Education K-6, Social Studies Education 5-8, Specific Learning Disabilities K-12 and Autism K-12.

 

 


 

01-teacher-paulPaul Gloudemans, Marketing/Admissions

Paul handles marketing and admissions efforts at Academy of Whole Learning. He received his B.A. in Advertising from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay and his teaching certificate from the University of St. Thomas.  He possesses an extensive marketing background, working for Best Buy, LifeTime Fitness, and various ad agencies. Paul recently shifted his focus to education and has worked for Richfield High School and now Academy of Whole Learning.

 



01-teacher-anitaAnita Haas, M.Ed.  Classroom Teacher 

Anita teaches in our upper school in the Lake Nokomis classroom.  Anita received her B.S. in Communication Studies and Theater from South Dakota State University and her Masters in Special Education from the University of St. Thomas with a teaching license in Developmental Disabilities and Birth-12 Autism Spectrum Disorders. Prior to joining Academy of Whole Learning, Anita had many years of paraprofessional experience and two years of teaching experience with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Developmental Cognitive Disorders. This is her fourth year teach at AOWL.

 


02-teacher-coryCory Hanson, M.Ed., M.A.  Activities Coordinator and Teacher Associate

Cory Hanson serves as an Activities Coordinator and  Teacher Associate in the Temperance River classroom. He received his Bachelor Degree from Northern Illinois University in Corporate Communications. He also obtained a Master’s Degree from Northern Illinois University in Higher Education and Counseling and a Master’s Degree from the University of Minnesota in Sports Management. Prior to Working at AOWL, Cory was an assistant football coach at the University of Minnesota.

 


01-teacher-rachelRachel Houle, Classroom Teacher 

Rachel teaches 3rd-5th grade in the Gooseberry Falls classroom. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Integrated Elementary and Special Education from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Rachel is licensed in Elementary Education, Learning Disabilities, Emotional Behavioral Disorders, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

 

 

 


Boyden Lee, Behavior Associate

Boyden serves as the Behavior Associate at Academy of Whole Learning.  He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN.  Prior to joining the team at Academy of Whole Learning, Boyden was a Behavior Therapist working with children with Autism using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).  He also worked as a Youth Counselor in a treatment facility for adolescent and teenage boys with problematic behaviors.

 


01-teacher-dana

Dana Liberty, Primary Teacher 

Dana is co-teaching our primary students in the Lake Itasca classroom. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Integrated Elementary and Special Education from the University of Minnesota – Duluth. Dana holds Minnesota State Teaching Licenses in Elementary Education, Learning Disabilities, Emotional Behavioral Disorders, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.  She is currently training her dog Nellie to be a therapy dog so that Nellie can be part of our AOWL staff.

 


02-teacher-dylanDylan Mazza, Teacher Associate

Dylan serves as a Teacher Associate in the Gooseberry Falls classroom.  He obtained a double major in Psychology and Family Studies from the University of St. Thomas.  Before joining Academy of Whole Learning, Dylan worked as a personal care assistant and as a youth supervisor at YMCA.  

 

 


Lisa1Lisa Morast, Administrative Assistant

Lisa is a student-focused Administrative Assistant Lisa with 12 years of experience working within school districts.  She works alongside staff and is the first point of contact with our families at the front desk. Prior to joining Academy of Whole Learning, Lisa was an Administrative Assistant with Paradise Valley Schools. Most recently she worked as a paraprofessional with the Westonka School District.

 

 


01-teacher-gina

Gina Pogue, Physical Education Teacher

Gina works with students grades K-12 in physical education, focusing on individual and team sports or activities. She also teaches Health at Academy of Whole Learning. Gina is heavily involved in our sports, clubs and manages our Special Olympic events. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Prior to coming to Academy of Whole Learning, Gina worked as a Physical Education Teacher in Northern Minnesota.

 


01-teacher-karlaKarla Przybylski, Human Resources and Office Manager

Karla serves as the Human Resources and Office Manager at Academy of Whole Learning.  She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Viterbo University in LaCrosse, WI. Karla has substantial experience in marketing, management, and small business operations. Prior to joining the team at Academy of Whole Learning, Karla was part of building and selling a successful startup company. 


Lue1Lue Ramberg, Executive Assistant

As an Executive Assistant, Luella provides administrative support for students, parents, and staff. Prior to her employment at Academy of Whole Leaning, she served as a Librarian at a community library, providing resources for individuals of diverse backgrounds. Lue also served as a leader of a 4H Club and on the 4H Leader Council, promoting the development of a wide variety of skills in young people between the ages of 4 and 18.

 

 



01-teacher-carlyCarly Rasmussen, Business Manager 

Carly reports to the Finance Committee and manages business relations and the school’s finances. She graduated with high honors from the University of Minnesota. Carly is the founder of a 501(c)3 nonprofit called Peerly Social: An Autism Network, a buddy program for young adults with autism spectrum disorder.

 

 



01-wayanWyayn Rasmussen, M.Ed., M.A.  Head of School

As the Head of School, Wyayn, advocates for the mission and vision of the Academy.  Wyayn earned her Masters of Education in Special Education from Bethel University, a Masters of Art in Organizational Management from Concordia University – St. Paul, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Oklahoma. Wyayn completed her coursework for her doctorate in Educational Leadership in December 2015. She holds a principal’s license, and a special education teacher’s license through the Minnesota Department of Education.



02-teacher-sierraSierra Stockton, Teacher Associate

Sierra is a Teacher’s Associate in the Minnehaha Falls class this school year. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Sonoma State University in California with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Education and a concentration in Human Development. Prior to working at Academy of Whole Learning, Sierra worked as an ABA behavioral aide and as and academic tutor for children with learning differences.

 



01teacher-katieKatie Thormodsgaard, MSW, LICSW    Behavior Specialist
 
Katie serves as the Behavior Specialist at Academy of Whole Learning.  She received her B.A. in Social Work from Viterbo University in LaCrosse, WI and her graduate degree in Social Work from University of St. Thomas/St. Catherine in St. Paul, MN. Prior to joining Academy of Whole Learning, Katie has worked in the field of Autism doing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. She also has been a behavior therapist, a lead behavior therapist and a supervisor providing 1:1 skills training, family skills training, implementation of skills programming and managing challenging behaviors in children ages 2 to 19 years old. Katie has experience doing 1:1 outpatient therapy with children and their families within their home and office settings. She has developed a program that focuses on working with the family system to provide new skills, replacement behaviors and reducing challenging behaviors.

02-teacher-kelseyKelsey Toetschinger, M.Ed.  Classroom Teacher 

Kelsey teaches language arts, math, science, and social studies in the Lake Nokomis classroom. She also manages Scholastic book orders.  Kelsey earned her Bachelors in Early Childhood Education from Minnesota State University – Mankato and her Masters in Special Education from St. Mary’s University, Twin Cities.  She is licensed in both general education and special education. Kelsey came to Academy of Whole Learning with years of prior teaching experience.

 

 



01-teacher-kaitlynKaitlin Walsh, Teacher Associate
Kaitlin is a Teacher Associate in the Cedar Lake classroom.  She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech-Language-Hearing Science. Prior to joining Academy of Whole Learning, she was a Personal Care Assistant for children with developmental disabilities, case manager at a vocational day program for adults with disabilities, and volunteer classroom assistant at Northern Voices Oral School for the deaf.
 
 

01-teacher-addieAddie Washington, Teacher Associate

Addie is a Teacher Associate in the St. Croix Falls classroom. She graduated from Beloit College, double majoring in Sociology and Comparative Literature. Prior to joining Academy of Whole Learning, Addie coordinated an elementary school reading program while shadowing first and second-grade teachers.  She has also worked extensively as a camp counselor and leader at a summer camp in northwestern Iowa. 

 


 

01-teacher-amandaAmanda White, Classroom Teacher

Amanda teaches in the Minnehaha Falls classroom

 

 

 



03-teacher-mollyMolly Yost, Teacher Associate

Molly is a Teacher Associate in the Lake Itasca classroom. She obtained her Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Human Services from University of Minnesota – Morris. Molly is currently attending the University of Minnesota working towards her masters degree in Special Education with a focus on Early Childhood Special Ed (ECSE) and ASD. Prior to joining Academy of Whole learning, she was a PreK teacher at KinderCare.

 

 


MollyZwebMolly Zupon, Teacher Associate

Molly is a Teacher Associate in St. Croix and Temperance. She received her teaching license from Hamline University, and taught at a Minneapolis Public School to kids in both general education as well as exceptional students in DCD and ASD. Before becoming a licensed teacher, Molly worked as a Special Ed para professional in the St Paul Public Schools at Creative Arts Secondary. Molly has two BAs; one in theater and one in vocal performance and can be seen singing and playing her violin in her Irish comedy improvisation band, The Dregs. She also teaches violin and viola to a small studio of private students from her home in Robbinsdale. During the summers, Molly serves as the Music Director for the Sabes Jewish Community Center musical theater camps.