Special Education
Special education is specially designed instruction based on the needs of an individual student. As required by law, School District 197 provides a free, appropriate public education to about 900 students with disabilities from birth through age 21 who attend both public and private schools. A team develops, implements and reviews each student’s individual program. Please see School District 197’s Special Education section for more information.


Ellie Anderson,
Special Education Teacher
651-403-8247 | elizabeth.anderson@isd197.org | Seesaw Login

Carrie Brookins, School Psychologist
651-403-8271 | carrie.brookins@isd197.org

Haley DeMers
, Occupational Therapist
651-403-8234 | haley.demers@isd197.org

Cynthia Smolik, Special Education Teacher 
651-403-8233 | cynthia.smolik@isd197.org

Kristina SolbergSpeech-Language Pathologist 
651-403-8235 | kristina.solberg@isd197.org | See bio below


Photo - Kristina Solberg

Kristina Solberg

I attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) in 2007 and a Master’s degree in CSD in 2009. I obtained my Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP), the national certification for a speech-language pathologist, after finishing my clinical fellowship year in 2010. My career began as a speech-language pathologist in 2009 when I started working at Friendly Hills Middle School. Two of my favorite hobbies are running and traveling. I try to run at least one marathon a year, and one of my long-term goals is to run a marathon in every US state.



Cindy Smolik
Hello! My name is Cindy Smolik and I am a Special Education teacher at Somerset Elementary School. I began teaching in District 197 in 2018. I hold a Bachelor's Degree in Communication and Leadership from the University of MN and a Masters Degree in Teaching from the University of St. Thomas. I live in Mendota Heights with my husband, Dan, our daughter, Cameran, and our black lab, Diggy. In my free time I like to read, dance, and play with my daughter as much as I can!