Tana Conway, High School Math Teacher
Tana is a math teacher in the high school. Tana earned her BA in Math and her MEd in Secondary Education, both from Arizona State University. She holds a Minnesota Teaching License for math grades 7-12. Prior to Academy of Whole Learning, Tana has worked as a high school math teacher, an instructional specialist at an elementary school, and a community college adjunct faculty member.
Kelly Crampton, High School Social Studies Teacher
Kelly is the Social Studies teacher in our High School. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth in Teaching Social Studies with a minor in coaching. Prior to working at Academy of Whole Learning, Kelly worked at a Charter School teaching High School Social Studies.
Kade Drechsler, Middle School Classroom Teacher
Kade is the Temperance River case manager and teaches science to the middle school classrooms. Kade has been at AOWL since 2016 and was selected as the Minnesota Independent Schools Forum (MISF) 2019 (K-8) Teacher of the Year. They received their Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from ACU in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Kade holds a Minnesota Teaching License in Elementary Education and is passionate about STEM Education. He’s presented at multiple STEM conferences and also received several STEM Grants from MISF as a member of the STEM grant team.
Colleen Farley, High School Math Teacher
Colleen is the Lake Superior case manager and teaches high school math. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Rochester with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science. Prior to working at the Academy of Whole Learning, Colleen worked in day & job programming for adults with disabilities. She is currently working towards attaining her Masters in Special Education at Minnesota State University – Mankato.
John Gabriel, Middle School Teacher
John graduated from the University of Minnesota – Morris with an Education License focusing on Social Studies. Prior to working at Academy of Whole Learning, he was employed by a private school that focused on students with learning differences.
Courtney Berthiaume, Lower School Classroom Teacher
Courtney Berthiaume is the Gooseberry classroom teacher in our Lower School at AOWL. She earned her undergraduate degree at Minnesota State University Mankato as a Special Education Academic and Behavioral Specialist for students K-12. Courtney is currently in graduate school for her Masters in both Autism and Developmental Cognitive Disabilities.
Elizabeth Hall, High School Science Teacher
Liz serves as a science teacher within our high school at Academy of Whole Learning. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina and recently completed a BA in Educational Studies, Secondary Biological Science Education. Liz worked for many years as an analytical development chemist in the pharmaceutical industry before a career change to teaching.
Hannah Jacobson, High School ELA Teacher
Hannah serves as our high school English Language Arts teacher. She’s originally from North Dakota and moved to the Twin Cities to attend the University of Minnesota, where she received a B.A. in English and a minor in Creative Writing.
Maggie Jensen, Primary Classroom Teacher
Maggie Jensen works as the classroom teacher and behavior therapist for lower school students in the Wolf Creek classroom. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from UW-River Falls and began working in the behavior therapy field upon graduation, providing 1:1 services with early intervention clients. Maggie returned to earn her graduate degree from Bethel University and graduated with a Master’s in Special Education and her ASD teaching licensure.
Chris Keller, Middle School Teacher
Chris works as a Middle School Teacher at AOWL. He graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a B.A. in Education and became a building sub at a Middle School in South Minneapolis. Prior to that, he spent seven years working as a substitute staff at a day program for adults with disabilities.
Mikki Lucci, Student Support Specialist
Mikki graduated from the University of Minnesota Morris with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science and holds a 5-12 social studies teaching license. She completed part of her teacher training program in New Zealand. After joining the AOWL team as the building substitute at the beginning of this year, she has taken on the role of Student Support Specialist, and now works with high school students and families to prepare them for what comes after graduation.
Tina San Miguel, Spanish Teacher
Tina serves as our Spanish teacher at AOWL. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Bilingual/Bi-Cultural Education from Universidad del Sagrado Corazon in Puerto Rico and a Master of Arts Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico. Tina is an experienced ESL teacher from Puerto Rico and fully bilingual in English and Spanish.
Nancy Shelledy, Art Specialist
Nancy is an Art Specialist. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Morris with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Arts, with a focus in Painting and Textiles. Prior to working at Academy of Whole Learning, Nancy was a Program Coordinator for adults with disabilities and mental health diagnoses. In that role, she supported individuals in learning independent living skills in the home and community.
Mike Smith, Physical Education Teacher
Mike serves as our Physical Education Teacher. Prior to coming to AOWL, he taught Physical Education full-time for 4 years. Mike’s current Minnesota teaching licenses include Physical Education (K-12), Health Education (5-12), and Developmental Adapted Physical Education (PreK-12).
Abby Tollas, Middle School Classroom Teacher
Abby teaches in the Minnehaha Falls middle school classroom. Prior to becoming a classroom teacher, Abby served as AOWL’s distance learning teacher, working with lower, middle, and high school students. She attended the College of Saint Benedict and holds a Minnesota teaching license in elementary education.
SCHOOL BEHAVIOR THERAPY STAFF
Austin Croteau, Behavior Therapist
Austin is a Behavior Therapist in the middle school classrooms. He graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a B.S. in Psychology. Austin’s previous work experience has been within the ABA field, working with kids ages 3 – 18 in a 1:1 clinic setting.
Grace Fitch, Behavior Therapist Supervisor
Grace supports Behavior Therapists (BTs) in the classroom with developing and monitoring progress with social and emotional learning objectives, completing assessments, developing behavior intervention plans, and coordinating with teachers. Grace also assists BTs with monitoring effectiveness of behavior plans, data collection, and teaching strategies. Grace graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences and has worked in the behavior field with children with Autism and other neurodiversities for over 5 years. She has been a Behavior Therapist, Lead Therapist, and ABA treatment supervisor. Grace has experience providing 1:1 individual skills training, facilitating family skills training, and supporting group skills.
Canesha Hooten, Behavior Therapist
Canesha is a Behavior Therapist in the Middle School Classrooms. She has a bachelor’s degree in Community Psychology and hopes to further her education in gaining her Masters degree and clinical licensure in social work. Canesha has 8 years of experience working with children (5-18) with various mental health challenges and diagnoses. This experience has been in classroom environments along with mental health Day Treatment programs.
Lisa Janisch, Director of Behavior Education
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 behaviors with children ages 2-18 years old.
Alyssa Kohorst, Behavior Therapist
Alyssa is a Behavior Therapist in the Gooseberry Falls, Lower School Classroom. She graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a BA in Exercise Physiology. Prior to working at the Academy of Whole Learning, Alyssa worked in a setting four school with at-risk children.
Ellie Leonard, Behavior Therapist
Ellie is a Behavior Therapist in our High School classrooms. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Psychology. Previous to AOWL, Ellie worked as a Mental Health Practitioner, guiding adults with mental health disabilities to live independently.
Camelia Miller, Behavioral Therapist
Camelia is working as a Behavior Therapist in the High School classrooms. She graduated with a Business Administration Degree from American Intercontinental University in Chicago, IL. Camelia has been working in special education (K-12th) for the past thirteen years.
Jacqui Miller, Behavioral Therapist
Jacqui Miller is a Classroom Behavior Therapist at AOWL. She graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a B.A. in Psychology and an emphasis in neuroscience and studio art. Prior to joining AOWL, she worked as a Behavior Therapist at Caravel Autism Health Center, providing early intervention therapy to children ages 2-18.
Martin Aschenbrener, Director of Finance
Martin brings over 25 years of finance and accounting experience to his role as Director of Finance at AOWL. His vast work experience ranges from large corporations (LifeTime Fitness) as Vice President of Operations to startup medical device companies as Vice President of Finance, helping raise capital and managing all aspects of finance and accounting. Martin received his B.A. from Bemidji State University and his MBA from the University of Minnesota.
Allison Barosko, COVID Coordinator
As COVID Coordinator, Allison manages all activities related to COVID including testing programs, contact tracing, communications to families, and reporting required information to the Minnesota Department of Health. Allison earned a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Administration from Northwestern University. She has extensive experience managing payroll, benefits, and HRIS from positions at MacPhail, Caribou Coffee, Buffalo Wild Wings and Macalester. She has volunteered in the Children’s Minnesota Families As Partners program for over 10 years. Her long term assignments have included serving on the Patient and Family Education Council, and serving on a quality improvement team for the NICU, dedicated to improving the outcomes of premature infants through increased parent participation.
Georgette Benton, Director of Infrastructure
Georgette has been with AOWL since 2013. As the Director of Infrastructure, She manages all the technology as well as facilities management.
Joe DeMarsh, Janitor
Joe keeps our school running smoothly by providing cleaning, upkeep, security, and by taking care of our students’ and staff’s needs. He partners with high school students who gain custodial experience through in-school jobs. Joe came to AOWL after working as a custodian at St. Stephen’s Catholic School in Anoka for 10 years. Prior to that, Joe worked in maintenance.
Andy Dreher, Building Substitute/Enrichment Program Assistant Manager
Andy is the Building Substitute and Enrichment Program Assistant Manager at AOWL. He was previously a Behavior Therapist in our middle school classrooms. He received his BA in Psychology with a focus on neuropsychology from UW-Milwaukee. Prior to coming to AOWL, he worked with younger clients providing early intervention therapy.
Paul Gloudemans, Admissions
Paul graduated with a B.A. in Advertising from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. After many years of working in marketing roles for large corporations, such as Best Buy and LifeTime Fitness, he decided to pursue a career in education. Paul received his teaching certification from the University of St. Thomas and spent a few years in the classroom prior to transitioning into an admissions role at AOWL.
Kelsey Goth, Advancement Coordinator
Kelsey serves as an Advancement Coordinator at the Academy of Whole Learning. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology at Wheaton College in Illinois. Prior to AOWL, Kelsey worked as a mental health counselor at Chicago Lakeshore Hospital in the children’s pavilion serving a diverse population with a wide range of mental illnesses and trauma.
Anita Haas, M.Ed. Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Innovation
After teaching for many years at AOWL, Anita has taken on the role of Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Innovation for our school. She received her Bachelor’s of Science 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.
Chloe Herzog, Administrative Assistant
Chloe is an Administrative Assistant for Academy of Whole Learning. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities with a minor in Technical Writing. Prior to AOWL, Chloe worked as a Communications Assistant at the Institute of Child Development and was a Teacher Assistant at Step-by-Step Montessori. In her free-time, Chloe enjoys camping, biking, and spending time with loved ones.
Carly Kortuem, Director of Strategic Advancement
As Director of Strategic Advancement, Carly leads our school’s advancement strategies and development. She graduated with high honors from the University of Minnesota. Prior to taking on this role, Carly was the Business Manager at AOWL for 4 years, where she managed the school’s finances, tuition, HR and facility operations. Carly comes to AOWL with a background in nonprofit management as the founder of a 501(c)3 nonprofit called Peerly Social: An Autism Network, a buddy program for young adults with ASD.
Maureen Maher, Donor Relations Manager
Maureen holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She also holds additional graduate-level certifications from the University of St. Thomas. Having worked at organizations like M Health Fairview, TwinWest Chamber of Commerce, and the American Cancer Society, Maureen brings over 25 years of experience in donor relations to AOWL’s Advancement Department.
Veda Nadem, Bookkeeper
Veda is AOWL’s Bookkeeper. Previously, she worked at United Nations Office for Project Services, as a Project Support Officer, handling World Bank grant budgets, financial reports, audit and other project-related tasks. Veda has 8 years of experience in Finance and Project Management. She received her Master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration (MBA) from University of Peshawar in Pakistan.
Karla Przybylski, Human Resources Manager
Karla serves as the Human Resources Manager. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Viterbo University in LaCrosse, WI. Karla has experience in client satisfaction, management, and small business operations. Karla has been a part of the Academy of Whole Learning for over 5 years.
Luella Ramberg, Executive Director and Board of Trustees Executive Assistant
Luella provides administrative support to the Executive Director, the Board of Trustees, 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.
Wyayn Rasmussen, Ed. D. Executive Director
Dr. Wyayn Rasmussen is in her eighth year advocating for the mission and vision of the Academy as Executive Director. Wyayn earned her Masters of Education in Special Education and her doctorate in Educational Leadership 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 serves on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Independent School Forum, as an Accreditation Chair for the Minnesota Nonpublic Schools Accrediting Association and is an active member of the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce Executive Director’s Sounding Board.
Kate Sands, Administrative Assistant
Kate is an Administrative Assistant for Academy of Whole Learning. Kate is currently working on her Master’s of Special Education, with a focus on ASD. Kate has worked with diverse learners in a variety of spaces; from volunteering with Special Olympics to teaching at City Elementary. When not at work, Kate is either going on an outside adventure or creating some artistic masterpieces with her daughter!
Kim Strandemo, Principal
Kimberly Strandemo is serving as the Principal at the Academy of Whole Learning (AOWL). She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education (K-6) from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. She earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the Minnesota State University Moorhead. Kim has over 20 years of experience in education. Prior to joining AOWL, Kim lived and worked abroad, mainly in Asia and the Middle East. She worked as a teacher at the International School in Beijing, the Hong Kong International School, and the American School of Doha (Qatar). She also worked in administration at the Middle East International School in Doha and Minnesota.
Amber Trapp, Enrichment Program Manager
Amber is the Enrichment Program Manager. She received her degree in Health, Leisure and Sport Studies with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation from The University of Iowa. Prior to working at the Academy of Whole Learning, Amber worked as the Adult Program Manager at Minnetonka Community Education and the Director of Teacher Resources at Youth Enrichment League.
Michelle Williams, Grant Writer
Michelle is the Grant Writer for the Advancement Department. She earned a B.A. in English from Georgetown University, and holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Prior to making the shift to Advancement, she was an English teacher and Department Chair at independent schools in the South. Her greatest job, however, is as the parent of an AOWL student.