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Jillian Copeland

Founder, The Diener School; Co-Founder, Main Street

Jillian Copeland was an educator, staff trainer and technology coordinator for Montgomery County Public Schools for 10 years prior to founding The Diener School in North Bethesda, Maryland in 2007. Since Diener’s inception, they have educated more than 250 students and their families. Copeland served as the head of school from 2007 to 2013, board of trustees chair for the following six years and now serves on the board of trustees.

In 2014, Copeland created Teens Like Us, a weekend and summer inclusive social program designed to meet the needs of teens with disabilities in the Greater Washington, D.C. area.

Copeland’s latest and greatest endeavor, Main Street, is a joint initiative with her husband, Scott. Main Street is a model and a mindset, the first-of-its-kind inclusive and affordable apartment building and community center serving people of all abilities. Main Street opened its doors to residents in summer 2020 and currently provides membership opportunities to over 200 resident and non-resident members. 

Copeland feels honored and humbled to work with vulnerable populations. She has volunteered in many different capacities for several organizations—including CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate) of Montgomery County, Children’s National Medical Center and the annual Bullis Gives Back 5K Buddy Run benefitting special needs children and adults in the local community.  

Currently, Copeland is a member of the board of directors for the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes, The Diener School and The National ARC. She also serves on the MIH Montgomery Housing Committee and the University of Maryland’s Transition Hub. Formerly, she served on the disability inclusion committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, the Developmental Disabilities Administration Task Force and Jubilee’s Housing Task Force.

Copeland received the 2009 Community Leadership Award from Jewish Women International (JWI), the Abe Polin Humanitarian Award from the Bender JCC in 2016, and the 2018 Bullis School’s Community Leadership Award. In 2018, she and her husband received the Melvin Cohen Humanitarian Award from the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes and in March 2020, they received Adapt’s Humanitarian Leadership Award, which was to be presented in New York City. Additionally, Copeland will receive the 2020 Trailblazer award from the VisArts community. She is also a proud graduate of Leadership Montgomery’s Class of 2013.

Helping people rise, along with service to vulnerable populations, is Copeland’s passion. She is a highly energetic and authentic speaker motivating people of all stages, ages and backgrounds to find their purpose and passion. The Copelands reside in Rockville, Maryland—two miles from the innovative Main Street building—and are the proud parents of Danny (25), Jack (23), Nicolas (21) and Ethan (19).