The Cottage School

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Mission Statement & History

Mission Statement & History

The Cottage School Mission:

Building a sense of self for students with special learning needs through academic and experiential programming, The Cottage School (TCS) prepares individuals for fulfillment of their true potential as confident, productive, and independent adults.


The Cottage School History:

Educators Jacque and Joe Digieso founded The Cottage School in 1985 in Roswell, Georgia.  Concerned about the increasing number of capable students experiencing repeated failure in traditional school settings, the Digieso’s developed a high school program that provided students with an opportunity to develop strong academic and personal life skills. At that time, TCS consisted of a one-room tutoring center in which the school’s innovative, one-of-a-kind educational program for unique learners was born.

After operating for several years in a small house, TCS moved to a wooded 19-acre campus in Roswell.  This location provided three residential buildings for classrooms and administrative space, as well as substantial outdoor areas for athletic activities.   A middle school was added in 1994 to address the growing student population and the large number of requests from parents.

In 2014-2015, The Cottage School celebrated 30 years of serving middle and high school students with mild learning differences.  The school has grown to 23 acres along the Chattahoochee River Corridor, and is home to an expansive campus that includes a state of the art media center, computer and science labs, a multi-purpose athletic and arts facility, indoor and outdoor classrooms, and trails for mountain biking and cross-country. Fully accredited by AdvancEd for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Southern Association of Independent Schools, TCS provides a comprehensive academic college preparatory curriculum that meets Georgia high school graduation standards and HOPE scholarship requirements. In June of 2014, the Masters in Special Education Resource Guide named The Cottage School as one of their Top 50 Best Private Special Needs Schools in the United States.  

In June of 2015, co-founder Jacque Digieso celebrated her retirement from The Cottage School. She will continue to stay involved with TCS as a member of The Board of Directors. 

In April after an extensive and thorough search, the Board of Directors announced the appointment of Steven Palmer as the new Head of School for The Cottage School. 

Born and raised in Florida, Steven Palmer has over 20 years of experience managing operations and delivering strong sustainable growth for businesses and educational organizations. “As a highly regarded administrator, Palmer's background as a Teacher, Coach, Principal, Director, Founder and CEO made him an excellent candidate for the search committee,” said Bob Hagan, President of TCS Board of Directors. “In addition to his several teaching awards and administrative accolades, Steven brings with him a strong background with students who have learning differences. This experience was incredibly important for our search team as we move into this new phase for The Cottage School.”