The Peace of Mind Team

Peace of Mind is a mission-driven, socially responsible organization.  We are passionate about bringing mindfulness-based social and emotional learning to elementary school teachers and students, helping schools become more positive and inclusive places in which children thrive.

Linda Ryden Creator and Author, The Peace of Mind Program
Executive Director, Peace of Mind LLC
Cheryl Cole Dodwell Managing Director and Editor, Peace of Mind LLC
Jillian Diesner Director of Early Childhood Programs, Peace of Mind LLC
Author, Peace of Mind Core Curriculum for Early Childhood
Janine Rudder Teacher Mentor, Peace of Mind LLC
Design Team
Jodi Kolker Schwa Design Group Publication Design
Niki Van VanStudios Website
Pittny Creative Logo Design

Linda Ryden Creator and Author, The Peace of Mind Program
Executive Director, Peace of Mind LLC

Linda-RydenLinda Ryden is the creator of the Peace of Mind Program, a cutting edge combination of mindfulness, conflict resolution, and social emotional learning. Linda is the author of the Peace of Mind Curriculum Series and is the full-time Peace Teacher at Lafayette Elementary School, a public school in Washington, DC, where she teaches weekly, 45-minute classes to more than 500 children.

Linda trains outside providers to teach mindfulness in an elementary school setting, trains classroom teachers in teaching mindfulness and developing their own mindfulness practice, and works with parents to bring mindfulness to their own children.   Linda often collaborates in this work with Minds, Inc. and other organizations.

Linda’s work on the Peace of Mind program has been recognized in The Washington Post and The Huffington Post, and her program has been featured on local CBS, ABC and Fox5 news stations. Linda was recognized as one of the “Faces of DC” by the George Washington Hatchet.

Linda brings a passion for teaching peace and over 25 years of teaching experience to her work with children and adults.  Linda holds a BA from Wesleyan University.

Linda lives in Washington D.C. with her husband Jeremiah Cohen, owner of Bullfrog Bagels, their two children, and their dog Phoebe.

Cheryl Cole Dodwell MBA, LMT
Managing Director, Peace of Mind LLC

Cheryl manages operations and publications for Peace of Mind and serves as managing editor for the Peace of Mind Curriculum Series.

Cheryl brings a well-rounded skill set to Peace of Mind, including 25 years of experience in banking, publishing, managing community organizations, and in helping startups organize and grow. She is also a nationally certified massage therapist and Reiki practitioner and brings a mindful and peaceful approach to her work in all fields.  Cheryl holds a BA from Princeton University and an MBA from Stanford University, with a focus on public and nonprofit management.

Cheryl enjoys hands-on volunteering with A Wider Circle and other community organizations.  She and her family recently returned from living in Malaysia for several years. She now resides in Maryland with her husband James, her two lovely children when they’re home from college, and two furry friends.

Jillian Diesner MA, M.Ed, Ed.S., LPC
Director of Early Childhood Programs, Peace of Mind LLC

Jillian directs the Early Childhood implementation of Peace of Mind and collaborated with Linda to create the Peace of Mind curriculum, Early Childhood edition.

Jillian is a dual-certified School Counselor and Special Education teacher who works with students at Lafayette Elementary School, a public school in Washington, DC. She teaches weekly Peace of Mind classes to all Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students at Lafayette. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the District of Columbia, holds Masters’ degrees in Early Childhood Special Education from the George Washington University and in Marriage & Family Counseling from the University of Florida.

An avid traveler, Jillian previously lived abroad and speaks Spanish and Italian. She currently lives in Maryland with her husband and two rambunctious boys.

Janine Rudder Teacher Mentor, Peace of Mind LLC

Janine is an educator who has worked primarily in districts with a concentration of under-resourced schools; a dedicated Pilates instructor consistently seeking opportunities to grow and continuously improve; and a professional who understands the critical importance of incorporating wellness-enhancing practices to build the capacity of students, educators, parents, and the broader community.

Janine started her career in education as a middle school special education teacher in Oakland, CA. She also trained primary school teachers and started several initiatives aimed at supporting and providing resources for teachers in Belize, Central America. After returning to the United States, Janine worked as a Master Educator, evaluating teachers’ instructional practice and conducting targeted professional development.

Through her work at the U.S. Department of Education, Janine currently supports State Education Agencies in building the capacity of school districts in order to support teachers and school leaders in their efforts to provide an excellent education for all students. Janine received a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Northeastern University and a Master of Arts from Teachers College at Columbia University. 

Design Team
Jodi Kolker Schwa Design Group Publication Design
Niki Van VanStudios Website
Pittney Creative Logo Design