Franklin Academy Staff
Ashlee Bednar, Lower School Classroom Teacher
Ashlee is the Cascade River classroom teacher in our lower school at Franklin Academy. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in 2016 from the University of Minnesota, Morris with a minor in French. In her free time, Ashlee enjoys reading, traveling (she has been to 14 countries so far), and spending time with her loved ones.
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 Master’s in both Autism and Developmental Cognitive Disabilities.
Kelly 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.
Austin Croteau, Physical Education and Health Teacher
Austin is a Physical Education and Health Teacher at Franklin Academy. 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.
Kade Drechsler, Manager of Curriculum and Instruction
Kade is the Manager of Curriculum and Instruction at 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.
Andy Dreher, Middle School Teacher
Andy is the Temperance River classroom in our middle school at Franklin Academy. He was previously the Building Substitute and Enrichment Program Assistant Manager at Franklin Center. He received his BA in Psychology with a focus on neuropsychology from UW-Milwaukee. Prior to coming to Franklin Center, he worked with younger clients providing early intervention therapy.
Kaari is the Foundational Reading and Science teacher in our high school. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and Art from Gustavus Adolphus College and a Masters Degree from the University of Minnesota, which reflects her interdisciplinary approach to teaching as well as her passion for fostering a sense of respect, responsibility, and love for the natural world with her students. She has many years of experience teaching in the classroom with different age levels while working closely with students on specific behavioral goals, demonstrating her commitment to providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment. As a literary enthusiast, Kaari is also invested in instilling a love for reading and enriching her students with the wonderful world of language arts.
John Gabriel, Middle School Teacher
John is the Pigeon River classroom teacher in our middle school at Franklin Academy. He 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 is the Minnehaha classroom teacher in our lower school at Franklin Academy. She has been with the organization since 2013, in various teaching and leadership positions within the Academy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and Theatre, a Master’s degree in Special Education with teaching licenses 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.
Hannah Jacobson, High School ELA Teacher
Hannah is the English Language Arts teacher in our high school at Franklin Academy. 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 Jensen, Lower School Classroom Teacher
Maggie Jensen is the Wolf Creek classroom teacher in our lower school at Franklin Academy. 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.
Scott Linner, Middle School Teacher
Scott is the Chippewa River classroom teacher in our middle school at Franklin Academy. He has 15 years of experience in elementary education. Scott graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead with an B.A. Degree in Elementary Education and a Pre Primary emphasis with additional SPED certification. Scott enjoys spending time with his family and being outdoors as much as possible.
Mikki Lucci, Student Support Specialist
Mikki is the Student Support Specialist at Franklin Academy. 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 Miguel, Spanish and CTE Teacher
Tina serves as our Spanish and CTE 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 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.
Melanie Shibley, High School MathTeacher
Melanie is the Math Teacher in our high school at Franklin Academy. She holds a BS in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked in the DNR for 2 years before making a career change to special education. Prior to working at Franklin, she taught special education science classes for 4 years at a public charter school for students on the Autism Spectrum. While employed there, she acquired her Master’s Degree in Specific Learning Disabilities from Concordia University. Melanie enjoys gardening, nature, bugs, painting, and all things STEM.
Kim Strandemo, Principal
Kim is the principal of Franklin Academy. She graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and then acquired a Master’s 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.
Clara Anderson, Classroom Behavior Therapist
Clara is a Classroom Behavior Therapist at Franklin Academy. She graduated from Bethel University in St. Paul with a BA in Psychology. Prior to working at Franklin Academy, Clara worked at Fraser Coon Rapids aiding young children with autism grow in their social and emotional skills. Clara loves making kids laugh and smile as they learn new skills. She enjoys animals, being outside, and spending quality time with family and friends in her freetime.
Davey Burns, Classroom Behavior Therapist
Davey is a Classroom Behavior Therapist at Franklin Academy. He attended Union College in Schenectady, NY where he studied psychology. He has experience coaching kids ages 10-18 in lacrosse and hockey. Davey has served as a mentor to student-athletes and has a passion for working with kids.
Grace Fitch, Academy Behavior Team Lead
Grace is the Academy Behavior Team Lead at Frankin Academy. She supports Behavior Therapists (BTs) in the classroom by 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 the 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.
Sarah Frisk, Behavior Therapist Associate
Sarah is a Behavior Therapist Associate in our high school at Franklin Academy. She received her Bachelor’s in linguistics and music from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Sarah is passionate about helping neurodivergent people feel understood, supported, and empowered. When she’s not at Franklin Center, Sarah enjoys reading, playing piano, baking, and spending time with her friends, family, and pets.
Colin Gran, Senior Classroom Behavior Therapist
Colin is a Senior Classroom Behavior Therapist at Franklin Academy. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in developmental psychology. He worked in the field of ABA both in college and in the years following and is currently taking courses to prepare for medical school. In his free time, he enjoys being with his pups, Millie and Mako, backpacking, and skiing.
Tobias Griffen, Behavior Therapist
Tobias Griffin is a Classroom Behavior Therapist in our middle school at Franklin Academy. He received his Bachelor’s degree in sports management and a minor in marketing. He started with us in March of 2023. Tobias previously worked with kids at the Marie Sandvik Center and the Boys and Girls Club Minneapolis
Austin Gumbiner, Senior Classroom Behavior Therapist
Austin is a Senior Classroom Behavior Therapist at Franklin Academy. He graduated with an A.A. from Normandale Community College, with a focus in Music and Performing Arts. Before Franklin, Austin spent nearly five years as a lead preschool teacher, working with children ages 3-5.
Danny Guy, Behavior Therapist
Kelsey is a Classroom Behavior Therapist at Franklin Academy. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. Prior to working at Franklin Center, Kelsey worked with elementary-aged students with special needs in Minneapolis Public Schools for three years. During this time, she discovered her passion for working with individuals diagnosed with ASD and hopes to pursue her Master’s in ABA to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
Hailey Hoskins, Behavior Therapist
Hailey works as a Classroom Behavior Therapist in the Academy’s upper school. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. Prior to working at Franklin Academy, Hailey worked at a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility as a Counselor with high-risk teenagers. Outside of work, Hailey enjoys playing her pup Fig, thrifting, advocating for LGBTQ youth, and watching reality television.
Alyssa 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.
Isaiah Reis, Behavior Therapist
Isaiah is a Classroom Behavior Therapist at Franklin Academy. He is on track to graduate with a degree in Psychology in the spring of 2024. Prior to joining Franklin, Isaiah gained valuable experience as a personal nanny, caring for children of various ages and developmental stages while pursuing his degree.
Holly Riley, Behavior Therapist
Holly is a Classroom Behavior Therapist in our middle school at Franklin Academy. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a degree in social work. She has worked with individuals with varying abilities and mental health concerns for over 20 years.