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Ellen Engstrom, Director of Education

B.A., Wellesley College
M.A. in Education, University of Rochester
M.A. in Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota

Ellen Engstrom is the Director of Education at Groves Academy.  She is certified to offer training in the WRS Levels I and II, Fundations®, and Just Words®. Ellen was the Director of the Lower/Middle School at Groves before leaving in 1999 to join the faculty of Landmark College, a school specifically for students with learning disabilities and attention disorders. She was an associate professor at the college and a Lead Education Specialist in the Landmark Institute for Research and Training. Ellen has given many workshops and courses for educators on the Wilson Reading System®, reading comprehension, writing, study skills, assistive technology, Universal Design for Learning, and executive function challenges.

Ellen can be reached at or at 952-915-4247.

Ron Michalak, Communications Consultant and
Founder, Breakaway College Test Prep

B.A., Northwestern University
MBA, Kellogg School of Management

Ron Michalak is a communications consultant at Groves Academy, and is the founder of Breakaway College Test Prep in Minnesota.  Ron earned a BA in Economics from Northwestern University and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. After college, Ron enjoyed a 25-year career in finance, marketing and business development as an executive with firms including Arthur Andersen, Coopers & Lybrand, BellSouth and IBM/Internet Security Systems.

Ron founded Breakaway Test Prep in Minnesota after helping his brother start a successful test prep company in northern New Jersey in 2006.  In 2011, Breakaway partnered with Groves Academy to launch the Twin Cities' first and only ACT prep course designed specifically for students with learning disabilities and attention disorders.  Today, Breakaway provides instruction to more than 200 students at Groves Academy, The Blake School and through private, in-home test prep.

Ron can be reached at

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