Professional counselors are available to help students work through a wide variety of issues that they might be facing during their high school experience.
SUPPORT RELATED TO STUDENTS:
We are committed to supporting students who struggle to succeed via regular channels. These students are capable yet challenged because of an identified learning difference (examples include but are not limited to: ADHD, Reading Disorder, Dyslexia, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Math Disorder, etc). We are not a tutor of content or a remedial teacher. We work with students to develop strategies that will allow them to be successful in the classroom. In this regard, our primary role is to work with students with a diagnosed learning difference. Some of the challenges we address with our students are:
- Diagnosed disabilities
- D’s or F’s in multiple subjects
- On academic supervision or academic probation
- Gathering student information to assist them in their academic success
- Working directly with students regarding their learning needs
- Monitoring the progress of students on our caseload
- Monitor Flex Time for students who require an extra level of support
- Monitor Middle School study hall for students who require an extra level of support
SUPPORT RELATED TO TEACHERS:
We provide suggestions, insights, and resources to help teachers better understand how your son learns. We act as liaisons between the school psychologist, administration, parents, and students in collaboration with the teacher. In this capacity, we serve as a resource for all including teachers regarding teaching strategies, learning styles, and classroom environment.
SUPPORT RELATED TO PARENTS:
We team with parents so they are knowledgeable of the expectations regarding Saint Thomas Academy. We help parents become partners in our efforts to bring about better academic success for their sons in these ways:
- Providing parents with sufficient counseling in order that they may help their sons.
- Facilitating/attending meetings with teachers, school counselors, school psychologists, and administrators to act as a resource person for those involved.
- We are available at conferences and open houses to answer questions or concerns regarding your son and his learning differences.
Mrs. Karen Rassmussen is a Learning Specialist for grades 9-12 and has been with the Academy since 2006. Karen obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota, and her Master’s Degree from the University of Saint Thomas in Educational Leadership. Additionally, she holds a certificate in Orton-Gillingham instruction and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Karen has gone on to complete the coursework in order to pursue licensure in Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as an Applied Behavior Strategist. Karen is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Saint Thomas.
Karen supports students that have been diagnosed with learning differences. She works with students on an individual basis to develop positive relationships, more efficient learning and coping strategies, and more positive study habits, which in turn fosters improved self esteem. She also enjoys working with parents, teachers and administrators as a resource and an advocate for students.
Mrs. Katie Schultz is a Learning Specialist for grades 6~9 and has been at Saint Thomas Academy since 2016. Katie obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin~River Falls, and her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Saint Catherine. She has been an educator in the private school sector for over twenty years.
At Saint Thomas Academy, Katie supports students that have diagnosed learning differences. She works with students both individually, and in small groups to improve their learning strategies and to build positive study habits in order to obtain academic success. Katie takes pride in building strong relationships with her students, and she enjoys partnering with parents and faculty to better assist her students in realizing their full potential.
Tom Richardson is a psychologist who has been working with Saint Thomas Academy since 2000. Tom received a bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota. He went on to complete a master’s degree in School Psychology at the University of Minnesota. He worked in the public school system for 15 years completing educational assessments for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. He now works in several mental health clinics in the Twin Cities conducting assessments to help plan for the mental health needs of children and adults.
Tom supports students and families at Saint Thomas Academy through consultation regarding learning and mental health struggles that impact education. He works with the counseling staff to help students find ways to work through academic struggles by using their strength and finding ways to work with teachers on ways they learn best.
Tom has been married to his wife Monika for the past ten years. They have an eight year old son, Henry. Tom has a family full of psychologists, psychiatrists, and neuropsychologists that make family gatherings interesting.
In his primary role as a School Counselor for Grades 6-9, Justin Larson loves the other side that he gets to see of students. “I enjoy seeing their softer side that they don't share with many other people; the side that reveals their true strength when they are vulnerable, empathetic and compassionate to their brothers. I also enjoy helping them recover from setbacks and thrive in our challenging environment. I was so fortunate to have such great role models and mentors during my high school years, I want to be able to foster those experiences here at Saint Thomas Academy." In addition to his role as School Counselor, Justin also serves as a Football and Basketball Coach, and a Peer Mentor Moderator.