Anita Haas, Inspirational Teacher and Advocate for Neurodiverse Students, Wins MINNDEPENDENT’s 2023 Honor Teacher Award.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Franklin Center teacher Anita Haas has been named the recipient of MINNDEPENDENT’s 2023 Honor Teacher Award. This prestigious award recognizes exceptional teachers who have a passion for students and education. Winners of the Honor Teacher Award are creative, innovative, fair and compassionate; they model integrity and excellence.

Anita is an outstanding teacher who embodies the criteria of an Honor Teacher. She has been teaching at Franklin Center for ten years and has been instrumental in developing our curriculum for neurodiverse individuals. She is a lifelong learner who constantly seeks new resources to better serve her students.

“We are thrilled that Anita has been recognized with this award. She is an exceptional teacher who is truly dedicated to her students and their success,” said Franklin Center’s Principal, Kimberly Strandemo. “Her innovative approach to education and her commitment to her students’ well-being make her an inspiration to all of us at Franklin Center.”

This year, Anita spearheaded the creation of a new educational model in Franklin Center’s kindergarten and first grade classroom. In this innovative space, Anita combines academic instruction with individualized therapy goals, bringing two essential pieces of a neurodiverse child’s development together. Each student in Anita’s classroom receives personalized support from a designated, multi-person therapy team. This model is unique to Anita’s classroom, and provides a rare opportunity for neurodiverse early learners to receive full-time behavioral therapy and academic learning, resulting in sustained progress in all developmental areas.

During the pandemic, it became clear just how beloved Anita is by the Franklin Center parent community, who rallied to support her and her family during her battle with stage 4 colon cancer. She beat the odds and is now cancer-free!

“Anita’s innovative and proactive approach is truly remarkable. When my student struggled to put their thoughts on paper, she went above and beyond to find solutions and unlock their potential,” stated parent Michelle Williams. “Anita meets her students where they are and helps them become their best selves. When she sees a need, she looks for creative ways to meet it, knowing that with the right tool, they will succeed.”

Anita Haas is a shining example of what it means to be a true Honor Teacher, and we congratulate her on this well-deserved award.

About Franklin Center

Franklin Center is a multi-service organization dedicated to supporting the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of the neurodiverse community, with a goal to enable every neurodiverse individual to have an exceptional human experience. Offering a range of services, including an accredited K-12 private school (Franklin Academy), enrichment and after-school programming (Franklin Enrichment), academic and activity-oriented summer programming (Camp Franklin), a mental and behavioral health center (Franklin Therapy), and an adult education transitions program (Franklin Capstone). Franklin Center was founded in 2003 by a group of parents seeking an educational model that meets the unique needs of their children and was previously known as the Academy of Whole Learning. Franklin Center is where the amazing happens.

2023 Honor Teacher – Anita Haas, Franklin Academy from MINNDEPENDENT on Vimeo.

To learn more about Franklin Center and how you can support the growing need, please contact Drew Coursin at You can also visit