Faculty and Staff

GeorgetteWeb1Georgette Benton, 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 previously served our country as a United States National Guard member in the 34th Infantry Division with the rank of Sergeant.

 

 


02-teacher-louisLouis Bakalars, Behavior Associate

Louie serves as a Behavior Associate at AOWL. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from the University of St. Thomas.  Prior to joining Academy of Whole Learning, Louie was a Program Coordinator for Fraser’s Supervised Living Department.

 

 

 


Ms Kate Web1Kate Drechsler, Classroom Teacher

Kate teaches in our lower school in the Minnehaha Falls classroom. Kate graduated with her Bachelors in Elementary Education from Australian Catholic University in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia and moved to Minnesota in 2015. She holds a Minnesota Teaching License in Elementary Education and has a passion for STEM education. Kate has been a member of our STEM grant team, receiving Innovation Grants from the Minnesota Independent Schools Forum (MISF). In fall of 2018, Kate presented at the annual MISF STEM Education Conference to share her knowledge with other educators.

 


Mr Mike Web 1Mike Faeth, PhD  Social Studies Specialist and Classroom Teacher

With over 10 years of teaching experience, Mike is entering his third year at the Academy of Whole Learning. Mike is a Social Studies Specialist and teaches in the St. Croix Falls classroom.  He completed his coursework for a PhD in History from the University of Minnesota and holds an 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.
 
 

Colleen_webColleen Farley, Art Specialist and Teacher Associate
Colleen graduated from the University of Minnesota Rochester with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science. While in college, Colleen was involved in many leadership positions, such as the College Activities Board and College Government. In her free time, she volunteers on a 24 hour helpline and is active in her community. At AOWL, Colleen works with all groups of students through visual arts media. She also supports students and staff in the classroom as a teacher associate.
 
 
 
 

JenWebJen Finger, Office Manager
Jen graduated from the University of Minnesota Morris in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. At AOWL, she serves as the front office manager and also assists with bookkeeping.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Lizzy_webLizzy Freese, Teacher Associate
Lizzy serves as a Teacher Associate. She graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences with triple concentration in psychology, human development, and Business administration. Lizzy is currently pursuing her Master’s of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She will Graduate in February of 2019 and will take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst exam in May of 2019. Prior to Academy of Whole Learning, Lizzy worked with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in home and clinic based ABA therapy programs.

 
CourtneywebCourtney Glazier, Classroom Teacher and Math Specialist
Courtney serves as the Math Specialist for upper school and teaches in the Temperance classroom. She recently graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato where she received her bachelors degree in Special Education – Academic and Behavior Specialist. Courtney has a Minnesota Teaching License which allows her to educate all K-12 disability areas. 
 
 
 

 

PaulWeb1Paul Gloudemans, Director of Marketing and 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 decided to shift his focus to education and has worked for Richfield High School and now Academy of Whole Learning.

 

 


Ms Anita web1Anita Haas, M.Ed.  Classroom Teacher 

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


MarkMark Haverty, Maintenance Technician

 

 

 

 

 


LisawebLisa Janisch, Behavior Specialist/ Teacher Associate

Lisa received her undergraduate degree in Recreational Therapy from the University of La Crosse and her Master’s Degree in Behavior Analysis from St. Cloud University. She has worked in the field of Autism for 20 years doing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. Lisa has been a Behavior Therapist, a Lead Behavior Therapist, Treatment Supervisor, and Clinical Skills Supervisor.  She has provided 1:1 skills training, family skills training, implementation of skills, programming and managing challenging behaviors with children ages 2-18 years old.

 


Ms Maggie Web1

Maggie Jensen, M.A. Sped.  Classroom Teacher 

Maggie Jensen is the classroom teacher in Wolf Creek, working with students in the Elementary grades. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from UW-River Falls and began working in the behavior therapy field upon graduation. Maggie returned to earn her graduate degree from Bethel University and graduated with a master’s in Special Education and her ASD teaching licensure. In addition to applied behavioral analysis and behavior management experience, Maggie has earned certification in the Orton Gillingham Language Arts model.

 


Boyden Lee Web1Boyden Lee, Teacher Associate/ Behavior Intervention Therapist

Boyden serves the school as a Teacher Associate/Behavior Intervention Therapist.  This year he is also taking on the role of Special Olympics Coordinator.  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.

 


Anna_webAnna Myrand, Classroom Teacher

Anna Myrand teaches English Language Arts in the Upper School. Passionate about working with students who have diverse learning needs, she holds teaching licenses in ASD, LD, EBD, and DD. She is also licensed in Teaching Communication Arts and Literature, grades 5-12. Prior to joining Academy of Whole Learning, Anna served as a high school special education teacher at a twin cities public school for five years. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth.

 

 


Stephanie_webStephanie Neiberger, Teacher Associate

Stephanie serves as a Teacher Associate at AOWL. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies and Marketing  from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Prior to starting at AOWL, she worked at Minnetonka Public Schools as a Program Leader supporting youth at a before and after school program.

 

 

 


MikeO_webMike Onan, Accountant

Mike is the school’s accountant, responsible for all the accounting functions for the school and for working with families as they schedule payment of tuition and fees. He has an MBA degree in accounting and a BA degree in business teacher education from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
He worked in various accounting and finance positions at Cargill and US Bank for over 20 years beforemoving into non-profit accounting as Director of Finance at the United Way of Portage County in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, a position he held for 12 years.

 


01-teacher-karla

 

Karla Przybylski, Clinical Services Manager/Human Resources Coordinator

Karla serves as the Clinical Services Manager/Human Resources Coordinator 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. 

 


Mekinna_webMekinna Rahn, Physical Education Teacher

Mekinna serves as the Physical Education Teacher at AOWL. She is a University of Minnesota-Duluth graduate, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Health. Mekinna believes that in order for students to succeed academically, physical activity is the most important fuel the brain needs to grow and function. She also believes that every student deserves to learn at their own pace in an environment where they feel safe.  

 


Hannah_webHannah Ramberg, Teacher Associate

Hannah serves as a Teacher Associate in the Minnehaha Falls classroom. She recently graduated from the University Of Wisconsin River Falls with a bachelor degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. During her summer, Hannah worked as a Personal Care Assistant in Summer School aged care programs. She additionally has five years of experience as a martial arts instructor.

 

 


LueWeb1Luella Ramberg, Head of School Executive Assistant

Serving for over a year as Executive Assistant to the Head of School, Luella provides administrative support to the Head of School, 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.

 

 


CarlyWeb1Carly 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.

 

 

 


WyaynWeb1Wyayn Rasmussen, 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.

 

 


 

 GregWeb1Greg SaundersDirector of Exceptional Learning

As the Director of Exceptional Learning, Greg supports the school’s vision as it relates to academics.  His desire is to see all students flourish and reach their full potential within a safe and nurturing learning environment.  Greg graduated from University of Northwestern St. Paul with a degree in Secondary Education.  Later, he received his masters degree in education from St, Mary’s University in St. Paul.  He has over 20 years of educational experience that include classroom and administrative roles.  His instructional technology expertise provided him the opportunity to serve as an Innovation Coach helping teachers integrate technology in their instruction.  Currently he is attending St. Cloud State University for his administrative license.

 


CindyWeb1Cindy Schriever,  Donor Relations Officer

At Academy of Whole Learning, Cindy leads Donor Relations by building and stewarding relationships that enable existing and prospective donors to deepen their learning, engagement and giving that reflect their values and philanthropic interests.

Cindy’s experience is in private school fund development in the areas of Annual Giving Campaigns, capital campaigns, educational endowment, major gifts and planned giving programs.

Cindy holds certificates in Special Education from the University of Northern Iowa and certificate of Fundraising and Fund Development from the University of St. Thomas Center for Business Excellence.


MitchMitch Sitzmann, Teacher Associate

Mitch serves as a Teacher Associate at AOWL.  He received his bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University with a major in Sport, Recreation, and Park Management and a minor in Business Management. His work experience includes The Boys & Girls Club of Brookings, SD, summer positions as a recreation coordinator for the city of Roseville and Carver County, and as a 7-12th grade paraprofessional at Martin County West High School. Mitch aspires to further his education and become a special education teacher.

 

 

 

 



01teacher-katie
Katie 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 the 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. Katie was instrumental in the development of clinic services for the AOWL. The focus of the clinic is to provide a holistic approach so families feel supported in all areas.

Ms Kelsey Web1Kelsey Toetschinger, M.Ed.  Classroom Teacher 

Kelsey teaches Science to the upper school students.  She also manages Scholastic book orders and is the Vocational Rehabilitation Services representative.  Kelsey collaborates with the state representative that works with eligible 11th and 12th grade students.  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.  Kelsey has her LD, EBD, and ASD licenses and is licensed in both general and special education.  Previous to Academy of Whole Learning, Kelsey has had experience working in a transition program.  She was able to contribute her experience last year when helping students start AOWL’s first concession stand, Owl Foods.  This will be her fifth year at Academy of Whole Learning.  


KelseyW_webKelsey Wall, Teacher Associate

Kelsey’s serves as a teacher associate at the Academy of Whole Learning. She got her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Wheaton College, located in the west suburbs of Chicago. Kelsey just recently moved to Minnesota from Chicago and is loving the new area. Before taking this position at AOWL, Kelsey worked as a mental health counselor at Chicago Lakeshore Hospital in the children’s pavilion. She served a diverse population of kids with a wide range of mental illnesses and trauma.

 



Ms Kaitlin Web1Kaitlin Walsh, Beyond the Bell Coordinator
Kaitlin is the Beyond the Bell Coordinator, she previously worked for us as a Teacher Associate and ASL teacher.  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, a case manager at a vocational day program for adults with disabilities, and volunteer classroom assistant at Northern Voices Oral School for the deaf. 
 
 

White Amanda Web1Amanda White, Classroom Teacher

Amanda teaches life skills across all grades and is the Cedar Lake advisor for middle school aged students. She received her undergraduate degrees in K-8 Elementary Education and K-12 Special Education from the University of South Dakota and continued her post-undergraduate work at Cal State Sacramento.  

In Oakland, Ca, Amanda taught at Spectrum Center, an ABA school, as an Autism-Specific teacher for students ages 12-21 for 5 years.  After moving to Minnesota, Amanda worked at Lionsgate Academy, helping to create the foundation of the AIM transition program. While there, Amanda led the site’s behavioral team, had a hand in designing courses and related coursework, taught social skills, and organized regular trips into the community to allow for students to generalize skills learned across settings.

Now in her 15th year of teaching, Amanda has spent the last three here at the Academy of Whole Learning


Ms Molly Z Web1Molly Zupon, Performing Arts Specialist

Molly is taking on a new position this year as a specialist in the performing arts.  She will still be teaching drama, but also taking on music education as well. She received her K-12 Theater/Dance 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 paraprofessional in the St Paul Public Schools at Creative Arts Secondary, as well as in a program called Check and Connect at Northeast Middle. Molly has been a performer for 30 years this fall. She 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 youth camp.