Tana Conway, Math Teacher
Tana is a math teacher in the high school. She comes to us from Arizona where she taught high school math and developmental math at the local community college. Tana earned her Bachelor’s degree in Math and her Master’s Degree in Secondary Education both from Arizona State University. She holds an Arizona Teaching License for Secondary Math, and is applying for a Minnesota license now! She is currently enrolled in a graduate program for Applied Behavior Analysis through the University of Arizona.
Kelly Crampton, Social Studies Teacher
Kelly is the Social Studies teacher in the Upper 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, Classroom Teacher
Kade teaches in the Temperance, middle school classroom. Kade 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 Australian Catholic University in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Kade holds a Minnesota Teaching License in Elementary Education. Kade has presented at multiple STEM conference and as a member of AOWL STEM grant team has received multiple Innovation Grants from MISF.
Mike Faeth, PhD Post-Secondary Career and Education Counselor
Mike is a Post-Secondary Career and Education Counselor assisting our students with transition planning. He earned his 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 with over 10 years of teaching experience.
Colleen Farley, Teacher Associate/Art Specialist
Colleen graduated from the University of Minnesota Rochester with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science. At Academy of Whole Learning, Colleen works with all groups of students through visual arts media. She also supports students and staff in the classroom as a teacher associate.
Courtney Glazier, Classroom Teacher
Courtney teaches lower school students in the Cascade Falls classroom. She graduated from Minnesota State University Mankato with a bachelor’s degree in Special Education – Academic and Behavior Specialist. Courtney has a Minnesota Teaching License for K-12 students with disabilities.
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.
Elizabeth Hall, Classroom Teacher
Elizabeth serves as a science teacher within the upper 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. Elizabeth worked for many years as an analytical development chemist in the pharmaceutical industry. More recently she worked as an elementary school teacher assistant in Rhode Island.
Maggie Jensen, M.A. Sped. Classroom Teacher
Maggie Jensen is the Lower School classroom teacher 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. 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.
Dylan Mazza, High School Counselor
Dylan serves as a counselor for our high school students. He joined AOWL in 2015 and spent a little over 3 years as a Teaching Associate for all grade levels during the school year and summers. He decided to leave AOWL for 2 years in order to obtain his Master’s degree in Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology from the University of Minnesota (with an emphasis on higher education and career services.) Dylan’s practicum site also happened to be at the University of Minnesota, in their Student Counseling Services and Student Academic Success Services departments. While there, he conducted 700 hours of individual counseling, case notes, assessment, outreach, and more.
Anna Myrand, Classroom Teacher
Anna Myrand teaches English Language Arts in our upper school at Academy of Whole Learning. She holds teaching licenses in ASD, Learning Disorders (LD), Emotional Behavioral Disorders (EBD), and Developmental Disorders (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.
Kelsey Toetschinger, M.Ed. Classroom Teacher
Kelsey is a teacher in the Minnehaha Falls, middle school classroom. She also manages Scholastic book orders and is the Hopkins School District Liaison for IEPs . 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.
Abby Tollas, Long-distance Learning Teacher
Abby has recently joined AOWL as a long-distance learning teacher, working with mainly lower and middle school students. She graduated from the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University in December 2020 with a degree in Elementary Education along with a minor in psychology.
Amanda White, Classroom Teacher
Amanda is a teacher in the Cedar Lake, middle school classroom at Academy of Whole Learning. She also teaches life skills across all grades at AOWL. 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. Amanda worked at Lionsgate Academy, a charter school, helping to create the foundation of the AIM transition program. Amanda led the site’s behavioral team, participated 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.
SCHOOL BEHAVIOR THERAPY STAFF
Louis Bakalars, Behavior Coordinator
Louie serves as a Behavior Coordinator 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.
Collin Cooper, Behavior Therapist
Collin is a Registered Behavior Therapist in the Upper School classrooms. Before coming to Academy of Whole Learning, Collin taught various forms of movement for 9 years including Parkour and Gymnastics, with an emphasis in connecting the body with the mind and learning to overcome physical and mental real world obstacles. He also worked as a performer for two NBA teams, the Timberwolves and Wizards. Collin attended University of Wisconsin for Sociology and Criminology.
Andy Dreher, Behavior Therapist
Andy is a Registered Behavior Therapist in the Temperance River, Middle School Classroom. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a BA in Psychology. Andy previously provided early intervention therapy for clients ages 2 – 5 with ASD at Fraser in Minneapolis.
Amy Epperson, Behavior Therapist
Amy is a Registered Behavior Therapist in the Cedar Lake, Middle School Classroom. She graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris, with Bachelors Degrees in Psychology and Liberal Arts for Human Services and a Minor in Vocal Music. She worked at South Dakota State University for 3 years as a Residential Hall Director. In 2018 Amy became a certified Registered Behavior Therapist (RBT) and worked at Behavior Care Specialists, in Brookings, SD. She implemented one on one Applied Behavior Analysis(ABA) therapy with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in-home, clinics, and school settings.
Jen Finger, Behavior Therapist
Jen is a Registered Behavior Therapist in the Gooseberry Falls, Lower School Classroom. Jen graduated from the University of Minnesota Morris in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History.
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.
Hannah Weise, Behavior Therapist
Hannah is a Registered Behavior Therapist in the Minnehaha Falls, Middle School Classroom. She graduated from the University Of Wisconsin, River Falls, with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Hannah worked as a Personal Care Assistant in Summer School aged care programs. She has five years of experience as a martial arts instructor, and teaches a martial arts club at AOWL.
Nancy Shelledy, Behavior Therapist
Nancy is a Behavior Therapist in the Lower, Middle, and High Schools. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Morris with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Arts. Prior to working at Academy of Whole Learning, Nancy worked as a Program Coordinator supporting adults with disabilities and mental health diagnoses. In that role, she helped individuals learn independent living skills in the home and community.
Keera Tijerina, Behavior Therapist
Keera is a Registered Behavior Therapist. She graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor degree in child adult and family services. Before coming to AOWL I worked at Woodward Academy as a Youth Counselor for boys and girls ages 14-18 years old. She also volunteered at a group home for girls through Youth Social Services in Ames, IA.
Melissa Trunk, Behavior Therapist
Melissa is a Registered Behavior Therapist for the Upper School classrooms. She has her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Music from the University of Minnesota, Morris. Prior to coming to Academy of Whole Learning, Melissa worked with teens experiencing homelessness and other disparities.
Georgette Benton, Technology Director
As the Technology Coordinator, Georgette maintains the network, computers, and devices. Georgette earned her Associates in Computer Science from the Minnesota School of Business. Georgette previously served our country as a United States National Guard member in the 34th Infantry Division with the rank of Sergeant.
Amber Carlson, PhD Communications Manager
Dr. Amber Carlson received her PhD in philosophy from Vanderbilt University, specializing in social epistemology, feminist philosophy, and ethics. Holding additional graduate degrees from the University of Notre Dame (MA), Texas A&M University (MA), and Princeton Theological Seminary (MDiv), Amber supplements her specializations with a broad philosophical background. Amber joins the Advancement Department as an accomplished writer and public speaker.
Ramona Ceraceanu, Human Resources Generalist
Ramona is an experienced Human Resources professional that is passionate about creating a great work environment and promoting growth through employee development. It is because of her passion for continuous learning that she is currently attending a Master of Science in Human Resource Management program, with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership.
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.
Paul Gloudemans, Director of Marketing and Admissions
Paul manages marketing and admissions. 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.
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.
Paige Knorek, Office Manager
Paige is the Office Manager at Academy of Whole Learning. With a variety of previous professional experience in teaching, non-profit ministry, and corporate administration, a Concordia College (Moorhead) graduate, Paige has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with an Endorsement in Communication Arts and Literature. She is licensed to teach grades K-8 in Minnesota and assists with Spanish classes at Academy of Whole Learning.
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 14 years of experience in donor relations to AOWL’s Advancement Department.
Mike Onan, Director of Finance
Mike is the school’s Director of Finance. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in business teacher education and a Masters of Business Administration in accounting from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He worked in accounting and finance Cargill and U.S. Bank before moving into non-profit accounting as Director of Finance at the United Way of Portage County in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.
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 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.
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.
Brenda Tollas, Head of School
Brenda graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a degree in elementary education. She also received a Masters Degree in Special Education from the University of St.Thomas, St. Paul and her administration License from St. Mary’s University, Minneapolis. Her 18 years in education covers an array of experience in classroom instruction, special education, and leadership positions, most recently as a vice-principal in the Osseo School District
Kaitlin Walsh, Director of Enrichment Programming
Kaitlin is the Director of Enrichment Programming, but previously worked for Academy of Whole Learning 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.
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.