Groves Learning Center®

When a student is struggling in school, it’s hard to know where to turn. You see their potential and desire to succeed, but despite all their hard work and best efforts, nothing seems to come easy. Groves Learning Center is here to ignite their confidence. We offer an array of specialized services for all students throughout the community who are struggling to learn or may be diagnosed with learning disabilities and/or attention disorders. We shine a light on each student to determine why they are struggling in school and help work toward individualized solutions. Our family navigators are here to help and can guide you and answer your questions.

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Groves Learning Organization™ is tracking news and information about the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). We are monitoring the situation closely as we want to take precautions with our organization to ensure that everyone is safe and healthy. Please check the COVID-19 Updates page on our website regularly for updates.

  • Diagnostic Services

    Is your child having trouble mastering skills such as reading, writing, or math? Do they have difficulty with memory or following directions? Are they easily frustrated or can’t seem to pay attention in class? A learning disability or attention disorder may be at the heart of their academic challenges. Groves Learning Center is ready to illuminate the path that leads to a child’s full potential. Our professional psychologists will conduct psychoeducational evaluations and will work with you to recommend specific educational interventions, services, and accommodations to empower your child to discover their brilliance, overcome these challenges and succeed academically, socially, and emotionally.

    Learn more about Diagnostic Services

  • Tutoring

    For students with learning disabilities or students who are behind on their studies, one-on-one tutoring can be the lifeline they need to improve academically. We provide tutoring in reading/comprehension, writing/spelling, and study skills. Our tutors are literacy experts with the experience to provide a flexible, customized approach to tutoring that meets the unique needs of each student.

    Learn more about Tutoring

  • Speech-Language Therapy

    We care for the needs of students who have difficulty understanding language or putting words together to communicate. Speech-language therapy can be the spark that empowers these students to express themselves more clearly and improve their comprehension skills. Therapy can also help students understand reading material or express themselves in writing. Speech-language pathologists at Groves Learning Center also specialize in empowering students who have difficulty with executive functioning. Throughout intervention, they become more confident and less frustrated, especially in the academic setting. If your student has trouble with communication, comprehension, or writing, we can help.

    Learn more about Speech-Language Therapy

  • Summer Programs

    Groves Summer Programs are an intensive opportunity for students and families to enjoy a positive school experience where they will begin to build the skills they need to feel smart and capable in school, often for the first time. Our small class sizes, individualized instruction, and engaging curriculum helps students gain confidence over the summer.

    Learn more about Summer Programs

Meet the Groves Learning Center Team

Kimberly Bateman
Psychologist
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Andrea Bender
Tutor
Education & Experience: Andrea earned her certification at Groves in 2017 and has been working there ever since. Prior to that, Andrea spent two years volunteering with Minnesota Reading Corps after navigating the public school system with a child with dyslexia. Hobbies: Andrea shares her winter tutoring time as a ski instructor at Hyland Hills.
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Laura Brandys
Tutor
Education & Experience:  Laura holds a bachelor's degree in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota and a master's degree in Community Education from the University of St. Thomas. She received her Orton Gillingham Certification from The Reading Center at the Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota in Rochester. She has worked as a Special Education Paraprofessional and a Reading Specialist in a variety of educational environments with students of varied ages, learning styles, and neurological differences. Hobbies:  Laura enjoys staying active and fit by hiking, biking, swimming, and walking her dog.
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Bailey Decker
Psychometrist
Education & Experience:  Bailey attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where she received her BS in psychology. She then continued on to receive her MSEd and EdS at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Bailey has worked in both public and private school settings as a nationally certified school psychologist (NCSP). Currently, she provides testing and other various supports to the psychologists and Learning Center team as a psychometrist at GLO. Hobbies:  Bailey enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and cat. She also enjoys movies, shopping, traveling, and creative projects.
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Melanie Engelking
Reading Tutor
Education & Experience:  B.S. and M.S. Degrees from the University of Wisconsin Stout. Completed introductory, intermediate, and extended practicum courses with Orton-Gillingham of Minnesota. Melanie has experience tutoring students online and in person from early elementary through high school. Melanie has been a reading tutor with Groves Learning Center since 2020 and a reading teacher for the Groves summer academic program in 2021. Hobbies:  Melanie previously worked in the hospitality and tourism industry. Melanie has traveled extensively domestically and internationally.
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David Grano
Reading Tutor
Education & Experience:  David received his bachelor's degree from Bethel University, majoring in linguistics and minoring in teaching ESL. After college, he taught English in Saudi Arabia for three years, then returned to Minnesota, working at two charter schools in the Twin Cities before joining Groves in 2021. In addition to tutoring in the Groves Learning Center, he is pursuing a graduate degree in speech-language pathology through Eastern New Mexico University. Hobbies:  Outside of tutoring and studies, he enjoys playing soccer, running, and hiking. Fun fact: he holds three different passports and grew up between Minnesota and Germany.
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Susan Hallam
Reading & Spelling Tutor
Education & Experience:  Susan went to Saint Cloud University, where she received her BS in Elementary Education. Susan has been involved in teaching and tutoring for 25 years and has a warm, assuring manner that keeps kids engaged and encouraged. Hobbies:  Outside of the education setting, Susan enjoys gardening and Twins baseball.
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Amelia Hejna
Tutor
Education & Experience:  Amelia received her B.A. in English and Secondary Education from Aquinas College in Nashville, TN. After teaching for four years in the South, she returned home to MN to teach at Providence Academy and pursue a Master's in Educational Studies with a concentration in Special Education. She served as an Upper School English teacher and Learning Specialist there for five years before becoming a stay-at-home mom. Hobbies:  Amelia enjoys cross-stitching, drinking coffee, playing with her son, and cheering on her husband at his softball games!
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Danielle Heyerdahl
Psychometrist
Education & Experience:  Danielle is a Certified Specialist in Psychometry and she earned this designation in 2015. She attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where she earned her BA degree in Psychology with a minor in Child Psychology. She has extensive experience conducting neuropsychological and psychoeducational evaluations and she currently supports the Diagnostics Team at GLO. Hobbies:  Danielle's interests include reading, running, listening to music, and studying interior design.
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Alaa Houri
Licensed Psychologist, PhD, LP, NCSP
Education & Experience: Alaa went to the University of Minnesota where she received her doctorate degree in Educational Psychology. She is licensed by the Minnesota Board of Psychology and is a nationally certified school psychologist (NCSP). She has experience completing comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations with children, adolescents, and adults in various settings. She is also passionate about identifying best practices in the prevention and early intervention of social, emotional, and behavioral functioning, with a focus on enhancing universal screening procedures in schools to provide early intervention supports and strengthen students' functioning. In addition, she has published peer-reviewed research articles and has presented her research at regional and national conferences. Hobbies:  Outside of her career, Alaa enjoys baking and biking with her family.
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Molly Iwaskewycz
Tutor
Education & Experience:  Molly graduated from the University of Minnesota with an undergraduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Molly has several years of experience working in the field of traumatic brain injury with both children and adults as an educator and case manager. She is also trained and certified as an Orton Gillingham Reading Specialist. Hobbies: Molly has two children and loves spending time with my family and friends. Molly loves to travel and be outside. She also has certification as a yoga instructor and enjoys being active.
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Jorge Izquierdo
Writing & Executive Functioning Tutor
Education & Experience:  Jorge graduated from the University of North Carolina in 2009 with a degree in Environmental Science and received a Masters in Science from The University of California, Davis in 2012. Though initially planning to work in environmental consulting after graduating, the job market was tough in 2009 and he started working as a one-on-one instructor for Access Test Prep in Atlanta, GA. During his time there, he developed his individual tutoring skills while working with dozens of students with learning differences, including many with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and executive functioning challenges. Over the years, he realized he enjoyed this work, was good at it and would like to continue it. Jorge has been with Groves since 2021. Hobbies: When not tutoring, Jorge can be found watching UNC basketball or cooking - especially Peruvian food.
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Tim Jandro
Licensed Psychologist
Education & Experience: Tim received his undergraduate degree from the University of St. Thomas. He completed his master's degree from St. Mary's university and received a doctoral degree in counseling psychology from the University of St. Thomas. Tim completed his doctoral internship at Fraser, with a focus on assessments. He also had a practica at the U of M Pediatric hospital in their FASD department. Hobbies:  Tim enjoys playing golf, baseball, and hockey. He loves traveling, coaching, and hanging out with his four children and wife.
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Hannah Jensen
Speech-Language Pathologist
Education & Experience:  Hannah has been working as a Speech-Language Pathologist since 2019. She is licensed by the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Department of Health. She also is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Hannah’s professional career began in a pediatric outpatient clinic, where she worked with clients of all ages, needs, and ability levels. Following this experience, Hannah transitioned to providing speech/language services in multiple charter schools throughout the Minneapolis area. In 2022, Hannah joined the Groves team. She works with students to increase their confidence with speech and language skills, supporting them within the school setting and at home. Her work includes conducting speech/language evaluations and providing one-on-one and small group therapy sessions to support speech, language, writing, and executive functioning skills. She is passionate about building relationships with students and their families and helping students reach their full potential. Hobbies:  Hannah enjoys reading a good book and spending time outdoors in her free time.
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Missy Keveles
Tutor
Education & Experience:  Missy holds a Master's Degree in Human Development with a concentration in Learning Differences and Leadership from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She has MN teaching licenses in birth to grade 3 and parent & family education. She has over 20 years of experience in early childhood education, early head start, and supporting children & families experiencing poverty or homelessness. Hobbies: Missy enjoys reading, traveling, concerts, and all things breakfast. She enjoys exploring the Twin Cities with her husband and dog, Bandit.
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Laurie Kincade
Psychologist
Education & Experience:  Laurie obtained her bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She completed her internship and post-doctoral experience at Groves Learning Organization specializing in psychoeducational evaluations and leading their Psychoeducational Assessments for All (PAA) program. Her areas of interest and specialization include topics of equity, accessibility, training and mentorship, relationships, and educational policy reform. Hobbies:  Laurie enjoys running, hiking, playing and watching soccer, baking, and spending time with her husband, daughter, son, and two Persian cats.
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Cindi Koopmeiners
Virtual Tutor
Education & Experience:  Cindi has taught K-6 for 27 years as a classroom teacher and as a Title 1 teacher in North Dakota, Arizona, and Minnesota. Cindi currently teaches education courses at Ridgewater College-Hutchinson. The highlight of her teaching career was helping children overcome anxiety with reading by using social-emotional learning strategies by having children read to horses. Hobbies: Camping, swimming, kayaking and spending time with family.
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Kris Kulevsky
Tutor
Education & Experience: Kris went to Gustavus Adolphus College where she earned her BA degree in Environmental Studies. She went on to earn her MA degree in Elementary Education at St. Catherine's University, and also holds a K-12 Reading License from Hamline University. Kris has spent time as an elementary classroom teacher, an interventionist, and an instructional assistant in early childhood classrooms. Hobbies:  Kris loves spending time with her grown-up kids. When she's not at work she likes to get outside to enjoy our beautiful changing Minnesota seasons.
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Nikki Lamb
Tutor
Education & Experience:  Nikki has been in education for 15 years as a special education teacher, Groves summer program teacher, program coordinator, and tutor. Nikki is an 8th-12th grade writing and executive functioning tutor. Nikki has been a tutor at Groves since 2015. She enjoys getting to know students and their families and helping students learn new skills and feel successful in school. Hobbies:  Nikki enjoys gardening, training her dog, taking long walks, flower arranging, and knitting.  
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DeeDee Clendenning Lee
Speech Language Pathologist
Education & Experience: DeeDee received her M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. She completes assessments and interventions with students to support their speech and language skills in collaboration with teachers and families. She is passionate about best practices to support cultural and linguistic diversity for students. As a prior early childhood special education teacher, she appreciates the importance of coordination and perseverance to help students shine. She is licensed by the Minnesota Department of Education and certified through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. Hobbies:  Outside of work, DeeDee enjoys time with her two children and husband, walking her dog, and reading books.
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Virginia Maurer
Tutor
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Ginny Maurer
Reading & Writing Tutor
Education & Experience:  Ginny has been an educator for over 40 years. Ginny has taught elementary, middle, and high school students as well as college students studying to become teachers. As a retired professor of education, Ginny has had the opportunity to develop literacy programs at various schools. Hobbies:  Ginny has lived in many different places including France, Ecuador, Seattle, Austin, New York City, and, now, Minneapolis. Ginny loves to read, bake, walk and bike around the lakes, as well as camp and paddle up North in the Boundary Waters.
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Christina Miller
Speech Language Pathologist
Education & Experience:  Christina attended the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire where she received her BS and MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She then began working as a speech-language pathologist in 2021. Christina works with students who attend Groves Academy and who receive speech/language services through the Learning Center. Her work includes conducting speech/language evaluations, providing one-on-one and small group therapy sessions to support speech, language, writing, and executive functioning skills, and collaborating with teachers and parents. Hobbies: Christina enjoys being in the outdoors and hanging out with friends and family.
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Meghan Miller
Director of Learning Center Individualized Programs
Education & Experience: Meghan started her career as a Speech-Language Pathologist in 2014. She is licensed through the Minnesota Department of Health, certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and a Certified Educator for ADHD. Meghan began working with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and, through that work, found an interest in literacy instruction. As the Learning Center Director of Individualized Programs, Meghan leads the Tutoring, Summer, and Speech-Language Programs. She has experience evaluating and providing one-on-one and small group support for students, teaching classes, providing professional development, and developing a curriculum focused on executive functioning and writing. Her passion lies in helping students reach their full potential by supporting reading, writing, and executive functioning skills.    
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Jeannie Parker
Speech-Language Pathologist
Education & Experience: Jeannie has been working as a Speech-Language Pathologist since 2016. She is licensed through the Minnesota Department of Education, certified through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), and certified as a Certified Educator for ADHD. Jeannie's professional career began in the public schools where she worked with middle school students. In 2018, Jeannie joined the Groves team to focus on helping children with learning disabilities and ADHD builds confidence and improves their speech and language skills. Her day-to-day at Groves includes completing speech/language assessments, planning interventions, collaborating with teachers, conducting one-on-one/small group therapy, and teaching summer school courses. In addition to her speech and language work, Jeannie also serves students with executive functioning needs. Hobbies:  Drawing and calligraphy, playing frisbee with my dog, Nova, puzzles, playing the piano, trying new restaurants with friends and family  
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Jeannette Peterson
Lower School Teacher & Tutor
Education & Experience:  Jeannette has more than 25 years of classroom experience teaching in both public and private elementary schools as well as 1 year of teaching abroad in Honduras. She attended St. Catherine University and graduated with a degree in elementary education and a minor in psychology. Jeannette began tutoring early on in her teaching career and has worked with students of all ages including adult learners at the Hubbs Adult Education Center in St. Paul, MN. She has a passion for helping struggling students build confidence in their abilities and find ways they learn best. Hobbies:  Jeannette enjoys spending time with her family, biking, hiking, gardening, reading and making digital photo books. Her newest adventure is learning to play Pickle-ball.
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Diane Peterson
Tutor
Education & Experience: Diane attended the University of St. Thomas where she received a BA in International Business as well as an MBA. Diane enjoyed a 30-year career in the corporate world in a variety of roles including marketing communications, corporate responsibility, and human resources. Diane fulfilled a goal of early retirement and became an Orton-Gillingham tutor - a career she enjoys every day! Hobbies: Diane, her husband, and their dog spent 3+ years living in England for Diane's career. Travel and reading are her favorite hobbies.
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Marie Plourde
Summer School Administrative Assistant
Education & Experience:  Marie attended the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire where she received her bachelor's of Business Administration in Management Information Systems. She also attend Creighton University where she received her MBA. Before joining Groves in 2019 Marie worked in Information technology and property management. Hobbies:  In her spare time, Marie enjoys running, tennis, pickleball, and golf.
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Julie Ripplinger
Tutor
Education & Experience: After graduating from Minnesota State University - Moorhead with a BS in Elementary Education, I moved to California, and have 32 years of experience in public education as a classroom teacher, Instructional Literacy Coach, and Intervention Specialist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Hobbies:  I enjoy all forms of the Arts, spending time with friends and family, and continued professional development. My talented son Jackson will be attending Cal Poly Pomona this fall.
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Lisa Rivera
Tutor
Education & Experience:  Lisa holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of North Dakota. Lisa holds an MN 5-12 Communication Arts/Literature license. Lisa also holds an MN K-12 Reading Certificate. Lisa worked as an Americorps reading tutor. Lisa has worked in a variety of middle school classrooms as a language arts instructor. Lisa has worked as a tutor privately and for Groves. Hobbies:  Lisa has taken up an old hobby of painting jeans once again. Lisa also started rollerskating. Lisa loves paddle boarding and Zumba. Lisa is an avid reader and concertgoer (particularly at outdoor festivals and smaller venues).
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Catherine Ruekert
Speech-Language Pathologist
Education & Experience:  Catherine began her career as a speech-language pathologist in 2019 at Groves Learning Organization. At GLO, Catherine works with students who attend Groves Academy and who receive speech/language services through the Learning Center. Her work includes conducting speech/language evaluations, providing one-on-one and small group therapy sessions to support speech, language, writing, and executive functioning skills, and leading professional development workshops. Catherine especially enjoys collaborating with parents and teachers to help students reach their full potential! Hobbies:  Catherine enjoys traveling, baking, reading, and playing with her dog, Archie.
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Tyler Sack
Tutor
Education & Experience:  Tyler has a Master's degree in Education with a certificate in Educational Therapy from Holy Names University. Tyler worked as a learning specialist in independent schools and maintained a private Educational Therapy practice for several years. In 2021, Tyler relocated to the Twin Cities and served as an Americorps tutor in a Saint Paul public school. Hobbies:  Sailing, museums, musical concerts, and reading. So far Tyler has traveled to 5 continents and hopes to go to the other two in the future.
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Sara Scheller
Tutor
Education & Experience:  Sarah Scheller is a reading and writing tutor. She graduated from Augsburg College with a K-6 elementary degree and a special education minor. She received a Master’s degree in Literacy from Hamline University, followed by earning her K-12 Reading license from the University of Minnesota. Sarah has been teaching and learning for 25 years as a classroom teacher, preschool instructor, special education support, gifted Instructor, reading interventionist, Title 1 teacher, K-12 reading specialist, English Language Arts teacher, and trauma-informed social-emotional coach. Sarah received “Teacher of the Year” in SLP Public Schools. She has additional training in the Orton Gillingham method from IMSE and uses  “The Writing Revolution” while teaching summer school at Groves. She uses a trauma-informed approach.  Building trusting relationships with her students bring her joy Hobbies:  Sarah loves spending time with her crazy family with 3 teenagers, laughing, connecting with friends, thrifting, traveling, keeping plants alive, and snuggling with her dog Blu. She loves all things water and nature. She’s driven to accept every person where they are at.  
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Gloria Scoonover
Reading Tutor
Education & Experience:  Gloria's bachelor's degree is in psychology from Hamline and has an M.D. from the University of Minnesota. Hobbies:  Gloria has three children and three dogs. Gloria loves reading, taking walks, movies, and hanging out with friends and family.
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Nancy Segreti
Director of Growth and Enrollment Operations
Education & Experience:  Nancy began her career in the classroom where she experienced firsthand students struggling to read, comprehend, and attend. This inspired Nancy to begin her training in Dyslexia and LD and she began working with students with learning disabilities. She spent ten years working for Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes opening centers and supporting families across the US. Nancy's current focus at GLO is on expanding our reach across the community and ensuring that our teams are providing the best possible experience and guidance along a family’s journey through learning challenges. As the Director of Growth and Enrollment Operations, Nancy supports the growth of the organization by providing strategic and operational support to our Admissions and Enrollment Department. She is passionate about providing support to each and every family and student that seeks out Groves for support and guidance. Hobbies:  Nancy and her wife, Tiffany, live in Linden Hills and love spending time at the lake with their son Elio and two dachshunds Jeff and Dieter.  
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Meagen Sundstrom
Director of Learning Center Operations
Education & Experience:  Meagen has a B.S. in Finance from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Meagen worked for 15 years in the Business Office at Groves Academy and now supports the learning center for Groves Learning Organization as the Director of Operations handling client care, scheduling, and payments. Hobbies:  Meagen enjoys camping, decorating, and spending time with family and friends.
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Eric Thompson
Learning Center Program Coordinator
Education & Experience:  Eric earned a B.A. in Communication at Pacific Lutheran University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Hollins University. He previously taught and coached middle school boys for five years in Virginia and has also worked coordinating study abroad travel for college students and managing the guest services department at a cruise line. He moved back to the Midwest in 2021, after many years away, and joined the Groves team. Hobbies:  Eric is a passionate reader. When not lost in a book, he spends a lot of weekends hiking with his family, playing board games, or watching the Twins!
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Catherine Van Dell
Tutoring Program Manager
Education & Experience:  Catherine has worn many hats in her 12+ years as an employee of Groves Learning Organization. She began her career as a Lower School Teacher serving the youngest students at Groves Academy. In her last few years as a Lower School Teacher, Catherine also held the position of Co-Division Director of The Lower School, providing guidance, support, and leadership to the Lower School faculty. Catherine eventually moved away from the classroom to join The Learning Center team as a Wilson Reading Tutor. From there, Catherine took on the role of Tutoring Program Coordinator and now serves as the Tutoring Program Manager for The Learning Center. Hobbies:  Catherine and her husband, Robb, live in the Excelsior/Chanhassen area and enjoy spending time with their three children, Dylann, Ashlynn, and Ryker, and two dogs, Cocoa and Luna.  
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Adrienne VanZomeren
Psychologist
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Shoshana Worman
Tutor
Education & Experience:  Shoshana taught for 25 years in the Edina Public School System. She was the district's 2003 Teacher of the Year. Shoshana has spent the past 5 years focusing on evidence-based reading programs including Orton-Gillingham, LETRS, Sonday, and Hill-Rap. Hobbies:  Outside of Shoshana's career, she enjoys baking (apple pies are her specialty), reading while snuggling with her two golden retrievers, running with her daughter, biking with her husband, and playing pickleball with her entire family!
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Questions?

Please contact Groves Learning Center by email at learningcenter@grovesacademy.org, call 952-920-6377, or complete the inquiry form.