LizzieLizzy Freese, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

Lizzy serves as a BCBA at AOWL. She graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences with a triple concentration in psychology, human development, and Business administration. Lizzy obtained her Master’s of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.  Prior to Academy of Whole Learning, Lizzy worked with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in-home and clinic-based ABA therapy programs.

Emily Ferguson, Behavioral Therapist

Emily works as a Behavior Therapist at AOWL. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota Duluth. While getting her degree, she also worked as an assistant preschool teacher in Duluth. Prior to joining AOWL, she spent two years working at an autism therapy center providing ABA therapy to children on the autism spectrum.

Lea Ichimura, Behavioral Therapist

Lea received her Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Prior to joining Academy of Whole Learning, she provided behavioral therapy services to clients ranging in age from 2 to 12 years old, where she worked in the clinic, residential, and in the community. Lea has also provided cognitive behavioral therapy and applied behavioral analysis for children with behavioral, emotional, and learning disabilities, as well as children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and co-occurring disorders. She also conducted diagnostic assessments and taught American Sign Language for 3 years to students ranging in age from 5 to 12 years old. 

Ryan Mohs, Behavior Therapist

Ryan is a Registered Behavior Therapist at AOWL. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from theUniversity of Nebraska at Omaha and worked as a preschool teacher for a number of years. Most recently, Ryan worked in a school as a Behavior Therapist and before that he worked for the University of Nebraska Medical Center in their severe autism clinic.

Ayan Mursal, Behavior Therapist

Ayan works as a Behavior Therapist at AOWL. She is currently working on obtaining her registered behavior technician certification. Ayan’s background includes working as a PCA and DSP for children and adults with autism and traumatic brain injuries.  She also has experience working with other diagnoses such as learning disabilities, schizophrenia, etc. Prior to joining AOWL, Ayan worked at Minnesota Autism Center.

Sunni Myers, Mental Health Therapist

Sunni received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She earned her Master of Science Degree in Child Development and Family Relations from East Carolina University as well as her Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Prior to joining Academy of Whole Learning, Sunni has provided services to address mood disorders, trauma, social skills, co-occurring chemical dependency/mental illness, and school based services. Sunni focuses on cognitive behavioral, systemic and strength-based views.

Keiora Smith, Behavior Therapist

Keiora works as a behavior therapist at AOWL. She will be obtaining her registered behavior therapist certificate soon. Her background includes working as a PCA  for the elderly and working with kids and teenagers ages 2-15 years old. Prior to coming on board with AOWL, she was employed at Minnesota Autism Center for three years. 


01teacher-katieKatie Thormodsgaard, MSW, LICSW, Director of Therapy Services

Katie serves as the Director of Therapy Services at Academy of Whole Learning.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree 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 provided (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 behaviors in children ages 2 to 19 years old at home and in a clinic setting.  Katie was instrumental in the development of clinical services for AOWL focusing on providing a holistic approach so students and families feel supported in all areas.

Jo Ward, MEd, Behavior Therapist

Jo works as a Behavior Therapist at AOWL. She holds a Master of Education degree in special education from Northern Arizona University. Prior to joining AOWL, she worked in a school as a parent educator and trainer in early childhood education. She also has experience working as a Senior Therapist at a clinic that specializes in Autism Spectrum Disorder.