Amelia Island Montessori School


  • diane M. Dodds, head of school

    MA Education – St. Catherine University

    BA Economics, Organizational Behavior & Management - Brown University

    Montessori Certification (Early Childhood) – Princeton Center for Teacher Education (MACTE)

    A graduate of Brown University with a Masters from Saint Catherine University, Dodds comes to us following a decade as the Director of Raritan Valley Montessori Academy, a private Montessori school in Bridgewater, New Jersey. There she led and mentored twenty faculty members across a multi-site campus with 250 total students ranging from twelve months to twelve years of age. Prior to that role, Dodds taught Montessori for seven years and held progressive leadership positions in school admissions and marketing.

    Dodds began her career in corporate marketing on Wall Street. During this time, her two sons attended a Montessori school. Through her experience as a parent, she developed a deep appreciation for the Montessori educational philosophy which led her to step away from a successful career as the marketing director of a prominent investment firm to pursue a career in education.

    Dodds holds the American Montessori Society Early Childhood Credential, Bachelor of Arts degrees in Economics and Organizational Behavior from Brown University, and a Master of Arts in Education from Saint Catherine University. She also consults with other Montessori schools for both the Princeton Center for Teacher Education and for the American Montessori Society.

    "The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • harsha patel, bookkeeper

    Modern Tutorial College, London, UK

    Harsha comes to AIMS from the hospitality industry, where she worked as an owner/operator for Comfort Suites. She has also managed payroll at companies in the US and the UK. She joined AIMS in the Summer of 2011 and has quickly become a friendly and familiar face to our families. She enjoys the family atmosphere with our staff and families, and lives in Fernandina with her husband, Manual.

  • linda sue waldo

    B.A., Jones College

    Linda Sue manages the administrative offiice and is the assistant to the Head of School. AIMS is a place where she feels at home because she enjoys the environment and how the school staff and parents are like one big family. 


    She absolutely loves the mornings because they lend to stopping and chatting with the children. 


    Married to David for 35 years, Linda is the mother of three and grandmother to eight beautiful grandchildren.  

    Linda's favorite quote is: "In every job that must be done there is an element of fun!" -- Mary Poppins

  • victoria smith, admissions

    Fort Hays State University, BA or Arts, RIEI Certification, Resources for Infant Educarers, currently enrolled in West Florida University

    When her three daughters were young, Victoria lived in Charleston, SC, where she learned about Montessori and was immediately drawn to the curriculum and the philosophy. She believes Maria Montessori has given society the great gift of many ever-growing learners. She enjoys living in this beautiful part of Florida and especially enjoys being near the ocean and everything it has to offer.

    “If you love life, life will love you back.”