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About our founders...


Managing partner and Director of Student Services, Karen Larson set forth the leadership of two additional therapeutic schools.  She directed all aspects for a national child welfare agency of several hundred children.  Ms. Larson was able to restore the financial health of these programs.  She is experienced in programmatic and business management aspects in therapeutic schools.

Ms. Larson is a lifelong resident of Illinois, where she attended Prospect High School in Mt. Prospect and completed secondary education at Harper College as well as Loyola University in Chicago. 


Managing partner Cindy Nudd also has extensive experience in public and private therapeutic schools.  She was the founding principal of a successful start-up school in DuPage County, which exceeded both financial and programmatic expectations.  Ms. Nudd is an active member of IAPSEC (Illinois Association of Private Special Education Centers).  She sits on several committees within the organization to assure a high standard of special education, care and treatment is available to all Illinois children with exceptional needs. Ms. Nudd is a graduate of Wheaton North High School and received her education degree from Northern Illinois University. 


Co-founder Patty Hotz attended Herscher High School in Herscher, IL and attended College of St. Francis in Joliet, IL. She founded S.E.A.L. with extensive experience in both public and private therapeutic schools.  In addition, her expertise extended to the psychiatric hospital setting.  Ms. Hotz pioneered the establishment of expressive therapy as a successful therapeutic approach for children and adolescents. As such, she developed, implemented and oversaw a continuum of clinical therapeutic programming. This expertise is the essence of SEAL’s therapeutic modality.

Ms. Hotz passed away on March 9, 2014. She was a passionate mentor, energetic leader, and a loving friend. 

"In our lives her spirit will always be present, as the imprints she left are forever on our hearts"

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