The Sisters who tutor in the Learning Center have many years of experience in the classroom. They bring this experience to their tutoring lessons, whether it be with children or adults, reading or math, or study for the citizenship exam. They truly love the students and this opportunity to help them gain confidence in their skills.A number of lay women and men join tutoring youth after school or teach adults during the day.


We offer tutoring opportunities for students in grades  K - 12 during the school year from 3:00 to 4:00 and from 4:00 - 5:00. Hour-long summer school classes run from 8:30 - 3:15 for 3 weeks during June. Registration forms for children and youth are available on the Registration page. 


Tutoring sessions for adults are available during the school year Monday through Friday from 9:00 - 3:00. Registration forms for adult ELL are also available on the Registration​ page.


Thank you for your interest in the Learning Center at Good Counsel. You are welcome to visit us at any time. Tours of the Center are available. Call for an appointment to discuss your learning needs or those of your children.


Sr. Dorothy Zeller, SSND

Learning Center Director


Sr. Dorothy Zeller began as Director of the Learning Center in August of 2014. She has an BA in Elementary Education from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, WI, and an MA in Catholic School Leadership from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She taught primary grades for many years, and was an elementary principal for 25. She began her teaching years at Holy Rosary School in North Mankato, and then ministered in Iowa, Washington state, North Dakota, and Arizona.


Sr. Dorothy says, "I have learned so much from the staff and the students here at the Learning Center. The variety of cultures we serve is certainly an enriching experience. Teaching adults just beginning to read brings back memories of teaching beginning readers at Holy Rosary here in Mankato." 

About the Director


SSND in Mankato


In September 1865 Mother Caroline Freiss responded to the request of Catholic families in Mankato for Sisters. Three Sisters and a Candidate set out by train from Milwaukee to La Crosse and the by steamboat to St. Paul. After meeting with the Bishop, they left by horse and wagon for Mankato. After three days over dirt roads with many ruts, the Sisters arrived September 3rd in Mankato to the cheers of local Catholic parishioners. Beginning with Sts. Peter and Paul School in 1865, the Sisters also taught in schools at St. John the Baptist, St. Joseph, and Holy Rosary parishes. 


In 1912 a new Motherhouse was opened on Good Counsel Hill with Good Counsel Academy for girls. A new school building was erected in 1966. This closed in 1980. Today Loyola Catholic Schools are housed in the former Academy building and at the Fitzgerald building near St. Peter and Paul's parish.

Learning Center History


The Learning Center began on Good Counsel Hill, Mankato, Minnesota, in 1967 in response to the call of the United States Commission on Education to establish reading programs across the nation. Sister Mary Donald Miller requested the use of an empty building to establish a center to meet the needs of students with declining reading scores. "I know the problems children have reading and I can give them the help that they need," said Sr. Mary Donald Miller.

Fifty-seven children and six adults were enrolled in the Reading Center the first year. Individualized programs with certified reading teachers were made available for any student in the Mankato area for a nominal fee. A need for instruction in additional subjects was realized in 1977 and the name was changed to Learning Center. Today qualified teachers continue to serve children K through grade 12. With the increase in the refugee population in recent years, the Center has served a greater number of adult English Language Learners. These students want to learn to communicate in English, to read, write, and learn math needed to become successful in school, get jobs, and strive for General Educational Development (GED). The diploma is key to job potential and employment opportunities, career advancement, post-secondary education and financial rewards. 


In over fifty years of operation, the Center has had ten SSND directors and many experienced teachers, Sisters and members of the community. More than 3,000 students have been tutored, either during the school year or through the Learning Center's summer program.


Mother Theresa Gerhardinger, foundress of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, would give thanks to God knowing that her Sisters are still teaching, serving the poor, and having an impact on society today, because "Love gives everything, gladly!"

SSND History


The School Sisters of Notre Dame had their beginnings in Germany in the early 1800s under the leadership of Caroline Gerhardinger, later known as Mother Theresa of Jesus. In 1843 Mother Theresa brought four Sisters to the United States to teach the children of the German immigrants. The Sisters continue today meeting unmet needs, especially of children, youth, and women. 

a ministry of the


Good Counsel Learning Center

170 Good Counsel Drive

Mankato, MN 56001

​Tel: 507-389-4229

​Fax: 507-389-4205