Franklin Academy Staff

Courtney Berthiaume, Lower School Classroom Teacher

Courtney Berthiaume is the Gooseberry classroom teacher in our Lower School at Franklin Academy. 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.


Matthew Cizek, Math Teacher

Matt is our high school Mathematics teacher. He completed a double major in Mathematics and Criminology from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Prior to teaching here, he worked as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he continues to work to complete his Master’s in Mathematics.

 


Kelly CramptonKelly 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 Franklin Academy, Kelly worked at a Charter School teaching High School Social Studies.


Kade Drechsler, Manager of Curriculum and Instruction

Kade is the Manager of Curriculum and Instruction for Franklin Academy. Kade has been at Franklin Academy 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. They have presented at multiple STEM conferences and also received several STEM Grants from MISF as a member of the STEM grant team.


Colleen FarleyColleen 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 Franklin Academy, 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 GabrielJohn Gabriel, Middle School Teacher

John graduated from the University of Minnesota – Morris with an Education License focusing on Social Studies. Prior to working at Franklin Academy, he was employed by a private school that focused on students with learning differences.

 

 


Anita Haas, Lower School Classroom Teacher

Anita has been with the organization since 2013, in various teaching and leadership positions within the Academy. She holds a Bachelors degree in Communication Studies and Theatre, Masters degree in Special Education with teaching licences in birth-adult Autism Spectrum Disorders and K-12 Developmental Cognitive Disorders. Before getting her Master’s degree, she served as a paraprofessional and special education teacher in a K-5 charter school for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Elizabeth HallElizabeth Hall, High School Science Teacher

Liz serves as a science teacher within our high school at Franklin Academy. 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 JensenMaggie Jensen, Primary Classroom Teacher

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 LucciMikki 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 Franklin Academy 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 MiguelTina San Miguel, Spanish Teacher

Tina serves as our Spanish teacher at Franklin Academy. 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 ShelledyNancy 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 Franklin Academy, 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 SmithMike Smith, Physical Education Teacher

Mike serves as our Physical Education Teacher. Prior to coming to Franklin Academy, 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).


Kim Strandemo, Principal

Kim serves as the principal of Franklin Academy. She graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and then acquired a Masters’ degree in Educational Leadership from Moorhead State University in 2013.

Over the past 20 years, Kim has been a world traveler, living and working in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Guangzhou (China), and Doha, Qatar.  She has taught at the International School of Beijing, Hong Kong International School, and the American School of Doha.  During her second stint in Doha from 2013-2015, she served as elementary principal at the Middle East International School where she helped the school become accredited in less than two years.  She also has teaching and administrative experience in Minnesota and Virginia.


Abby TollasAbby Tollas, Middle School Classroom Teacher

Abby teaches in the Minnehaha Falls middle school classroom. Prior to becoming a classroom teacher, Abby served as Franklin Academy’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.


Behavior Department

Austin CroteauAustin Croteau, Behavior Therapist

Austin is a Behavior Therapist in 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.

 

 


Neil Deviries-Smith, Behavior Therapist

Neil is a Behavioral Therapist in the Chippewa River middle school classroom. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S in Psychology. Neil’s previous experience has been in 1:1 specialized tutoring and as a Senior playground leader in St. Louis Park.


Grace FitchGrace Fitch, Intervention Specialist

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.


Austin Gumbiner, Behavior Therapist

Austin is a Behavior Therapist in the middle school classrooms. He graduated with an A.A. from Normandale Community College, with a focus in Music and Performing Arts. Prior to Franklin, Austin spent nearly five years as a lead preschool teacher, working with children ages 3-5. 

 


Lisa JanischLisa 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 KohorstAlyssa 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 Franklin Academy, Alyssa worked in a setting for school with at-risk children.

 


Ellie LeonardEllie Leonard, Behavior Therapist

Ellie is a Behavior Therapist in our High School classrooms. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Psychology. Previous to Franklin Academy, Ellie worked as a Mental Health Practitioner, guiding adults with mental health disabilities to live independently.


Amy LincolnAmy Lincoln, Clinical and Safety Trainer

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.