TEACHING STAFF

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.


CourtneyCourtney 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.

 

 


AnitaAnita 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.


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 Teacher00 Maggie

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. 


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. 


Andy Dreher, Behavior Therapist 

Andy is a Behavior Therapist in the middle school classrooms and leads activity days and various clubs. He received his B.A. in Psychology from UW-Milwaukee with a focus in neuropsychology. Prior to coming to AOWL, Andy worked at Fraser providing early intervention therapy based on the ESDM to younger clients.

 

 


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.


Lisa JLisa 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.

 

 


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.  She strongly believes that “Special Education is a work of heart.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

Nicole Andrews, Enrichment Program Manager

Nicole Andrews is the Enrichment Program Manager and is a lifelong learner who has had a focus on early childhood education as well as extensive training in diversity, equity, and inclusion . She has worked with children and families for the last 14 years, previously working for Fernbrook Family Center and Rochester Public Schools, serving children from a variety of diverse backgrounds, in clinical settings, in the classroom, and as an administrator. 


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.  

 


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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. 


PaulWeb1Paul Gloudemans, Director of Admissions

Paul manages all aspects of admissions at AOWL. 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 advertising agencies. After 12 years in the business world, Paul decided to shift his focus to education and worked for Richfield High School before joining Academy of Whole Learning. 

 


Dr. Sousada Chidthachack Grande, Interim Principal

Dr. Sousada Chidthachack Grande began her career in education as a licensed high school mathematics teacher in Minneapolis Public Schools. She is passionate about helping to make high quality mathematics education accessible to all students. As the Interim Principal at AOWL, Dr. Grande is most looking forward to leading a team of world class teachers and professionals, as well as working closely with families to support scholars reaching their fullest potential. Dr. Grande has held various roles including Teacher Coach, STEM Education Coordinator, Assistant Principal at a Private Catholic School, and most recent, Social Justice Mathematics Education Consultant. She earned a BA in Pure Mathematics and a MA in Curriculum and Instruction from University of St. Thomas. She later earned a PhD in STEM Education from the University of Minnesota. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband, energetic toddler daughter and pit bull mix.


Kelsey Goth, Advancement CoordinatorKelsey

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.

 


Liz Mills, Administrative Assistant

Liz is an Administrative Assistant for Academy of Whole Learning. She received her bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University in Speech Communication. She has over 10 years of experience working in environments containing neurodiversity. While not at work, Liz enjoys spending time outdoors, playing games, and trying to keep up with her two toddlers.


Mecca Polk, Childcare and Administrative Professional

Mecca is currently attending Hennepin Technical College for her general education requirements and working towards a degree in Special Education.  She is a certified PCA and DSP and has worked with special needs families for about 4 1/2 years.

 


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. 


LueWeb1Luella 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.

 


WyaynWeb1Wyayn 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.


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.