Hillary Aguilar-Ruano, Registered Behavioral Therapist

Hillary works as a Behavior Therapist at AOWL.  She graduated from Saint Xavier University in Chicago, IL. After graduating, Hillary worked as a behavior therapist in-home and later worked in a clinic. Her hobbies include being a health/fitness coach, practicing mixed martial arts, and music.

 


Jackson Berra, Registered Behavioral Therapist

Jackson works as a Behavioral Therapist for AOWL. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin- Platteville with a B.A. in criminal justice. Prior to working at AOWL, Jackson worked with at-risk youth, as well as a behavioral specialist for children with ASD, in La Crosse, Wisconsin .

 


Suad De Leeuw, Registered Behavioral Therapist

Compassionate Behavior Technician dedicated to serving individuals with special needs or behavioral issues with utmost respect and consideration.

 

 


Amy Epperson, Registered Behavior Therapist

Amy works as a Behavior Therapist at AOWL. 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.


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.


Wyatt Freie, Registered Behavioral Therapist

Wyatt serves as a Behavior Therapist at AOWL. He graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a BA in Psychology. Prior to working at Academy of Whole Learning, Wyatt worked as a Behavioral Therapist performing ABA therapy for kids with ASD in home and in center.


Juliana Fuller, Registered Behavioral Therapist

Juliana serves as a Behavior Therapist at AOWL. She graduated from University of Minnesota with her BA in Child Psychology. Juliana was a gymnastics coach for 5 years and taught preschool, boys team and girls competitive team. Prior to working at Academy of Whole Learning, she worked with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder doing in-home and clinic-based ABA therapy.


Emily Hass, Senior Registered 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.

 


Jake Hoffman, Registered Behavioral Therapist

Jake is a Behavior Therapist with the AOWL Clinic and is an MN Licensed Social Worker. He has served marginalized communities in both non-profit and school settings since graduating with his B.S. in Social Work from Winona State University.


Lea Ichimura, Treatment Lead

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. 


Amy Lincoln, Treatment Lead

Amy received her Bachelor’s degree from The University of Minnesota and her Master’s degree in Public Health from London Metropolitan University in London, England.  Amy has been working in the autism field since 2012 and has experience working as a behavior therapist, a lead behavior therapist and a treatment supervisor.  Prior to that, Amy worked in Shanghai, China as a classroom teacher.  She has provided 1:1 skills training, family skills training and behavior management in homes, schools and in a clinic setting with children from 2-18 years old. 


Liz Mills, Intake and Operations Coordinator

Liz is an Intake and Operations Coordinator. 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.


Ayan Mursal, Senior Registered 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, LPCC, LADC, 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.


Grace Olson, Registered Behavior Therapist

Grace works as a Registered Behavior Therapist at AOWL.  She graduated from the University of Minnesota – Duluth with a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Psychology. Grace’s  background includes working as a Personal Care Assistant and a Direct Support Professional for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Prior to joining AOWL,  she provided in-home ABA therapy to children diagnosed with ASD. 

 


Michaela Parnell, Registered Behavior Therapist

Michaela works as a Registered Behavior Therapist at AOWL. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development & Family Studies. Out of college, Michaela worked with individuals with mental health diagnoses in their own homes. In 2019, she started working with children with  Autism Spectrum Disorder in their home as well as in a center. 

 


Kim Raes, Billing Specialist

Kim works as the Therapy Services Billing Specialist.  She has over 15 years of experience billing mental health service.  Prior to that she was a legal assistant for a large law firm in Minneapolis.


Claire Roberts, Registered Behavior Therapist

Claire works as a behavior therapist at the AOWL. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Deaf Studies/American Sign Language. She has previous experience working as a PCA for children with various physical, cognitive and emotional needs. Additionally she has practiced ABA for a year.


Keiora Smith, Senior Registered Behavioral 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.


Melissa Trunk, Mental Health Intern 

Melissa is a Mental Health Intern in our clinic. She has her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Music from the University of Minnesota, Morris. Prior to joining AOWL Therapy Services she was a behavior therapist within our high school. Melissa has experience working with teens and young adults experiencing homelessness and other disparities.