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.
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.
Kade Drechsler, High School Classroom Teacher
Kade is the Temperance River case manager and teaches science. 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 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 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.
Elizabeth 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 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.
Chris Keller, Middle School Teacher
Chris works as a Middle School Teacher at Franklin Academy. He graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a B.A. in Education and became a building sub at a Middle School in South Minneapolis. Prior to that, he spent seven years working as a substitute staff at a day program for adults with disabilities.
Mikki 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 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 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 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 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.
Austin 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.
Grace Fitch, Behavior Therapy Supervisor
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.
Lisa 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 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 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.
Jacqui Miller, Behavioral Therapist
Jacqui Miller is a Classroom Behavior Therapist at Franklin Academy. She graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a B.A. in Psychology and an emphasis in neuroscience and studio art. Prior to joining Franklin Academy, she worked as a Behavior Therapist at Caravel Autism Health Center, providing early intervention therapy to children ages 2-18.