Key School Staff

A Dedicated Team of Professionals


From researching physics in a nuclear laboratory, teaching English in Malaysia, developing a math dictionary, working in children's publishing, reporting on television, being foster parents, to running the Boston marathon in record time, our faculty brings a variety of valuable experiences and insights to Key School.

With a commitment to professional development, our highly trained teachers use a unified, intentional, cohesive approach. Dedicated and caring, Key's teachers are committed to helping children become successful students.

Every teacher at Key School is Orton-Gillingham-trained. Each language teacher has completed a rigorous, supervised clinical teaching experience to ensure a high level of compentancy with multisensory structured language instructional principles. Math teachers are trained in the multisensory math principles and approach. Both language and math teachers use a five-step Orton-Gillingham-based lesson plan which includes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic teaching and ample review and reinforcement in a teaching-for-mastery environment. 

Key School provides its own teacher training to all faculty, under the supervision of a Fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE). Key uses the curriculum standards of AOGPE and is accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC). Teachers are in the mindset of continuous improvement and lifelong learning. Two-thirds of the faculty have passed a national certifying examination and are credentialed at the Certified Academic Language Practitioner level or the Certified Academic Language Therapist level.

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Diane Milner Dr.

  Name Relationship Roles HH ?  
  John Milner Son Alumni    
  Taylor Compton Daughter Alumni    
Faculty Information
Location(s) Key School
Title(s) Key School Principal/ Teacher Training Fellow
Other Information

Dr. Diane Milner is the principal of the Key School and the director of the Key Learning Center. She joined CDS in 1997 to launch the Key Learning Center program. In 2003, the Key Learning Center program became the Key School and the Key Learning Center became an outreach and training center. Diane’s two children gradated from CDS: John Justin Milner in 2005 and Taylor Leigh Milner in 2007. She has earned several recognitions, including the 1994 Haywood County Teacher of the Year, 1997 WCU Distinguished alumni, 2005 Melissa Ogden Award at CDS, 2012 Lucia Karnes Award, and the 2013 Innovator Leadership Award from the International Multisensory Structure Language Education Council. Diane has also presented and given keynote at addresses at local, regional and national conferences.
Get to know Dr. Diane Milner:
In what ways can you teach/engage children at CDS that you couldn't at other
schools? “At the Key School we have the luxury of having an ideal student/teacher ratio which allows us to know our students and their families is very unique ways and to truly target specific learning needs and talents. At CDS we have the academic freedom to pursue cutting edge brain research, professional development, and specialized training without being restricted by local, state, or federal educational policies. We can keep education “pure!” We are valued and appreciated for our academic expertise and allowed to make informed programmatic additions and changes based on the dynamic needs of our students.”
What do you like most about your job at CDS? I love being surrounded by our faculty and other administrators who are equally as passionate about educational excellence as I am.”
In your opinion, how does the CDS community inspire students to be courageous and curious, wonder about things that they don’t understand, try new things, and develop individual passions? “At CDS – the focus is on learning for a lifetime. Students are always being challenged to take their tools, strategies, and skills to increasingly higher levels and to apply them in new and unique ways to create deeper learning connections.”
What books and authors inspire you? I love all types of reading genre. I am particularly inspired by the writings of Stephen Covey, E. Demmings, Daniel Pink.”
What is your favorite quote about education, mentorship, children, and/or
learning? "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adams
Which classroom projects/events are you known for? “Key Learning Center outreach, trainings, Tutoring Connection, conference presentations, and work with the leading international dyslexia organizations.”
What personal passion brings balance to your life? “Outreach, training, helping others learn to reach all kids, reading, working out at the gym, bike riding, solving problems.”
Is there anything else we should know about you and your work? “It is my passion to help the rest of the world understand the gifts and challenges of dyslexia.”
How is CDS different from what you experienced as a child in school?CDS offers a truly personalized education in all divisions; every kid matters and every kid has a “place.”
Why/how is what you see now valuable? “CDS is sending great leaders and confident kids out into the world.”

Contact Information
School Email
School Phone
(828) 274-0758   x330
Degree(s) B.S., Western Carolina University
MaEd, Western Carolina University 1994
CPED / EdD, Educational Leadership / Institutional Improvement, Western Carolina University 2017
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