Key Staff Bios

Jacque Digieso, Ph.D., Executive Director

Jacque Digieso, Ph.D., Executive Director

Jacque Digieso has been an educator for over 40 years. Her innovative educational philosophy has shaped the educational model of schools in which she has worked since her first position in Bangkok, Thailand. She serves as a private consultant to both public and private educational agencies.

Dr. Digieso attended Agnes Scott College, The University of Kentucky, Georgia State University, The University of Georgia and Century University. She holds a Masters Degree in Education with emphasis on Special Education and a Ph.D. in Education Administration.

After several years of living and teaching overseas, she and her husband settled in Atlanta to raise their two sons. In 1985 they founded The Cottage School in order to bring a relevant and successful educational program to adolescents with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder and other special educational needs. The School currently serves close to 200 middle and high school students.

Jacque is past President of the Atlanta Area Association of Independent Schools and Past President of the Roswell East Rotary Club. She is active in the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, The Learning Disabilities Association, St. David’s Episcopal Church, and a member of Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities as well as several other professional associations. She was honored as a Woman of Distinction by the Atlanta Crohns & Colitis Foundation in 1998 and was the recipient of the Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholarship in 2002. She currently serves as President of the Roswell Rotary Club.

Contact Jacque at

Joe Digieso, M.Ed. Co-Founder, Middle School Principal

Joe Digieso, M.Ed. Co-Founder

Joe Digieso began his career in education twenty-five years ago after deciding to leave his position as a management consultant for Beatrice Foods. Once his wife talked him into tutoring students, he discovered that he loved teaching and sacrificed a promising career as an executive to return to school and obtain a Masters Degree in Education. His teaching experience began with Dekalb County and he was selected as one of the three teachers to open one of Georgias first alternative schools, Hamilton Alternative, for students whose behavioral problems prevented them from attending their home schools. Joe spent five years teaching and serving as an administrator at an independent school for students with learning disabilities, now called Mill Springs Academy. He co-founded The Educational Resource Center, a tutorial center in 1983 and The Cottage School in 1985 where he served as an instructor and for many years served as the the High School Principal. He is also the Treasurer of The Cottage School Board of Directors.

Joe is very involved in his community. He serves on the International Dyslexia Association Board, is active at St. Davids Episcopal Church serving on the Vestry and as Senior Warden, and has served on the advisory board for First Colony Bank.

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Laura Finnell

Laura Finnell, began her career with The Cottage School as an English teacher 18 years ago, and she still enjoys teaching literature and writing.She was raised in Roswell and Alpharetta, graduated from Milton High School and completed her bachelor’s degree in English, Speech and Drama from the University of Georgia.She earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University while she lived in an eighty one year old, renovated house in Little Five Points.

During that time, she was initiated in Pi Lambda Theta, an honor society for graduate candidates, and was invited to present at the national convention in Boston. In the Atlanta Community, she recently completedtwo years on the board of directorsas co-president of the Atlanta Symphony Associates young professionals organization, Bravo!, and was featured in the 2006 spring issue of Catalyst magazine for her volunteer efforts.She currently maintains her membership with the symphony, as well as in many educational organizations including: International Dyslexia Association and Learning Disabilities Association of Georgia; Georgia Independent School Association and state conference presenter- seven years; National Association of Secondary School Principals; Association and Supervision of Curriculum and Development; North Fulton Chamber of Commerce and Leadership graduate in 1999.

When not at TCS, you may find Laura at her daughter’s soccer or basketball games, playing outside, trying to catch a few minutes of a Georgia Bulldog football game, or volunteering with Happy Tails Pet Therapy group.

Contact Laura at .