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Colee Bean, Associate Director of Outreach

B.A., University of St. Thomas

Colee Bean is Groves Academy's Associate Director of Outreach.  She received her bachelor's degree from the University of St. Thomas. Originally from Fargo, Colee spent seven years in St. Paul and moved to the Minneapolis side of the river to join the Groves Academy staff in 2006. As part of the development team, Colee helped plan and execute events and programs like the annual Scholarship Gala, Grandparents Day, and the alumni program. In June, 2010, Colee began managing Groves Academy's ambitious Outreach effort, and has been responsible for the planning and implementing of all programs offered to the community.

Colee can be reached at or at 952-915-4297.

Will Bohrnsen, Co-Director of Groves Post-Secondary Program

M.A., University of St. Thomas
B.S., The Evergreen State College

Will is one of the directors of the Groves Post-Secondary Program.  With more than ten years experience in both formal and informal science education and administration, he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the GPS program.  His outside-of-the-box approach to teaching has allowed him to meet the unique needs of students who have struggled with traditional approaches to learning.  As director, he shares responsibility for admissions, outreach, and management.  He also works directly with first- and second-year college students to provide essential tools for successful transition.

Will can be reaches at

Ellen Engstrom, Director of Teacher Training

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 Teacher Training 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.

Jean Hayward, Director of Public School Partnerships, Groves Outreach

B.S., Illinois State University
M.A., St. Mary’s University, Minneapolis

Jean Hayward is Groves Academy's Director of Public School Partnerships. She received her bachelor's degree from Illinois State University, Normal, IL and her master’s degree from St. Mary’s University, Minneapolis, MN. She is a Fellow in the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Professionals and Educators. Jean has been a teacher for thirty-six years. 

Originally from the Chicago area, Jean lived in southeastern Minnesota for twenty years before moving to the Minneapolis area in 2005. She joined the Groves Academy staff in 2006. As part of Groves Outreach, Jean has directed projects that take the scientifically researched, evidence-based practices of the Groves Academy Literacy Framework into selected public school settings through professional development, mentoring, and consultation.

Jean can be reached at or at 952-920-6377, extension 2220.

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 or at 952-915-4240.

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