Our Staff

Debra Schipper

Debra Schipper

Chief Executive Officer 
B.A. Secondary Education-English, German, and Journalism; M.Ed. Educational Psychology-Emotional Behavioral Disorders; Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist

Licensed:  K-12 Autism Spectrum Disorders, K-12 Emotional Behavior Disorders, 7-12 English/Language Arts, and 7-12 German

Debra has been a professional educator in general and special education for over twenty-five years. She teaches, coaches, and supports children through young adults, and their families, with autism spectrum and related needs. With experience and expertise in elementary through high schools, Debra also teaches and prepares others to work effectively with these special young people.

In recent years, Debra has completed Michelle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking Clinical Training Program Level 1 Assessment Mentorship Training Program in San Jose and has also completed ADOS Reliability Training at the University of Michigan with Catherine Lord's team.

Tomasina Uttecht

Tomasina Uttecht

Executive Director

Tomasina joined WMLC 8 years ago as Office Manager and has held the positions of Director of Office and Personnel Administration and Director of Marketing and Business Development. She is thrilled to continue the momentum that WMLC’s founder and CEO Debra Schipper, began in 2001, and to work with the new Director of Programming, Nicole Ringgenberg, to keep WMLC’s mission and values strong while continuing to progress with new cutting edge, innovative programming.

Janet Gressman

Janet Gressman

Business Administration Coordinator
Janet is responsible for planning and coordinating the day-to-day business operations of all centers and serves as administrative aid to the CEO. She brings more than 32 years of business knowledge and perspective into her role. Janet joined WMLC in 2002. She has served as a board member of Metro Friendship Foundation, has volunteered with TSA-MN and has been a foster mother to nineteen children. She is married to Mike and has an adult son, Aaron. Her household is filled with three cats and a chinchilla. Janet makes time to read novels and magazines amongst her flowers whenever she can.

Linda Jones

Linda Jones

Social Skills Coordinator

Mary Wyatt

Mary Wyatt

Director of Admissions 
Born and raised in Rock Valley Iowa, Mary attended Rock Valley High School and continued on to obtain a degree in Elementary Education (K-8) from Augustana College. Her previous experience includes teaching 1st grade at Fairmont Public School, being a Title 1 teacher for Menomonie Public School District, and being the Director of Education for Sylvan Learning Center. Mary enjoys gardening, golfing, traveling, biking, reading, attending fitness classes, and having lunch with friends.

Cassondra Rahn

Cassondra Rahn

Director of Lotus Specialized Learning Center

Licensed:  K-12 Developmental Disabilities

Born in Ramsey and raised in Isanti, Minnesota, Cassondra attended Cambridge-Isanti High School and continued on to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and a Masters in Education (Teaching and Learning). Her previous experience includes being an Autism Teacher at the Middle School level in the Elk River School District for seven years. Cassondra enjoys being with family and friends, singing, crafting, being outdoors, boating and cooking.

Nancy Olson

Nancy Olson

School Services Coordinator & Lead Autism Specialist

Undergraduate degree from the University of St. Catherine in Elementary Education and Graduate degree from the University of St. Thomas in Specific Learning Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Licensed: 1-6 Elementary Education, K-12 Autism Spectrum Disorders, and K-12 Specific Learning Disabilities

Before joining the WMLC family, Nancy worked as a special education case manager for students with disabilities at a school in Maple Grove for ten years. Besides teaching academics and social skills, she made sure that her students got the appropriate supports in their mainstream classes. In her spare time Nancy enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, traveling or just kicking back with a good book.

Cheri Hanna

Cheri Hanna

Lotus Special Education Teacher

Licensed: 1-6 Elementary Education, K-12 Emotional Behavior Disorders, K-12 Learning Disabilities, K-12 Mild to Moderate Mentally Handicapped, K-12 Moderate to Severe Mentally Handicapped, High School Teacher/Coordinator Work Experience Disadvantaged and Handicapped

Emily Koch

Emily Koch

Lotus Special Education Teacher

Licensed: K-12 Developmental Disabilities

Debbie Shortreed

Debbie Shortreed

Lotus Special Education Teacher

Licensed: K-12 Developmental Disabilities

Carl Weber

Carl Weber

Lotus General Education Teacher

Taylor Krahn

Taylor Krahn

Therapeutic Recreation Coordinator & Lotus Support Specialist

Ryan Lauritsen

Ryan Lauritsen

Lotus Support Specialist