Karen Ostlund is the owner of Learning Designs Learning Center, her passion and contribution to the communities she lives in. She has been working in the educational field for her whole career, and holds a Masters of Special Education. Karen currently works as a Special Education Teacher in her hometown and manages the Isanti location of Learning Designs.
Karen is married, has three children and enjoys living the rural life.
Owner & Founder of
Miss Zehra has a Master's in English Education and 10+ years' experience working in special education and ESL. She loves to paint, cook, and do henna, and spends a lot of her free time with her husband and cat Minne. When asked about what led her to teaching, she says "I have always loved learning, and I love watching the light go on when a concept finally clicks for someone. Other professions and jobs could never match the satisfaction and fulfillment of being part of that moment of understanding for a student." Her favorite thing about teaching is the funny things kids say. She loves the unique perspective young people have. Her teaching style is to find what works best for the student and to have clear outcomes in mind. Her superpower is how resourceful and calm she is when things go awry.
Alyssa Ford is an Academic Coach here at Learning Designs! She has her bachelor's in psychology and Russian, which she speaks fluently! She teaches from a team approach, wanting to make sure her students feel heard, whether they need a break or help with comprehension. She loves getting to know each individual students' learning style and getting to know them as people. In fact, her superpower is being able to find common interest and connect with everyone! In her free time she likes to hike, paint, read, and play DnD.
Dustin's favorite part of tutoring is watching a student's "aha" moments. He is warm and relational with students but maintains high expectations of them. Influential teachers in his own life let him to his interest in education, so he knows the value of an amazing teacher in a student's life. He holds a Master's in Education as well as a life sciences and chemistry teaching certificate. He is a lefty, and his superpower is his kindness! In his free time, he is on the Twin Cities River Rats team as a water skier!
Sara Logan describes her teaching style as eclectic and holistic. She focuses on developing a relationship with students and helping them grow as human beings and as learners, rather than emphasizing grades and test scores. Shes always loved teaching- it gives her the opportunity to keep learning every day herself! She holds a BA in liberal arts and a MSEd, plus over 20 years' experience as a teacher and tutor. In her free time, she loves to read, take her very loud dog for walks, hang out with her family, and watch theater. A fun fact- she went to Russia as an exchange student 3 days before the Soviet Union collapsed! Her superpower is being able to make a story about any topic whatsoever.
Elementary & Middle School
Kevin Quail is a College Prep Specialist and Academic Coach with Learning Designs. He has multiple certifications in special education (HI, DC, Board Certification in Special Education), ESL/TEFL certification, BS Psychology, and Post Baccalaureate in Special Education. He is incredibly well traveled, having visited over 25 countries! He describes his learning style as 'listen to, learn with' because the best learning happens through mutual respect and trust. He was brought to education by people who encouraged him to use his learning and communication skills to serve society, and now he enjoys bearing witness to student successes. His superpower is anticipating the needs of others! He offers his services virtually.
Mrs. Haugen has known from the time she was a little girl that she wanted to be a teacher. She loves watching kids understand new concepts, and seeing their confidence grow. In her free time she loves to travel, read, and spend time on the water. She loves road trips and is an exceptional planner! Her superpower is remembering names, facts, and trivia.
Alex describes himself as an intuitive teacher. He can switch things up to meet the needs of the students. He was inspired to teach because of all the incredible educators in his childhood who helped to make the transitions of his 17 different moves as easy as possible. Without the support of those teachers, life would've been unmanageable. He hopes to now provide that same support to his students. Alex holds a Master's in special education with licenses in SLD and EBD. He loves to garden and is a marathon runner. He also loves to be outside and active, even in the winter months. He lived in Belize for 3 years, and is a master in adaptability.
Carrie Hawley is a tutor out of our Isanti branch. She loves the uniqueness of each student and watching them learn to problem solve and puzzle their way to a solution. Her teaching style is positive and relational. She gets to know her students and helps them use their strengths to bolster their weaknesses. Her natural love of curiosity and encouraging other led her to education, where she has worked for over 20 years. She's been with the Isanti Cambridge School District for 16 years, much of which has involved working in special education. Even today she is still pursing more education for herself while guiding students. In her free time, she loves to garden, quilt, and play music. She can play piano, cello, violin, and guitar! She currently learning flute, kalimba, and ukulele. Her superpower is getting kids to use their brains, stretch their thinking, and believe in themselves!
Elementary & Middle School
Blaise LOVES math, so much that he even does it in his free time! He loves getting to share that passion with students and show them that they don't need to be afraid of math. As a math teacher and tutor with 7 years of experience, he describes his teaching style as engaging and hands on. He was drawn to education by the opportunity to contribute to community growth. He's currently working on a master's in mathematics. Blaise says his favorite number is 4, and his superpower is his incredible patience!