Solimar Academy is registered as a Private School through the R-4 affidavit process in California.
Director/Owner/Learning Success Coach
Dawn Jackson is a certified teacher, LearningSuccessTM Coach, Advocate for children with special needs and a Specialist for children who have been diagnosed with learning challenges. Her background and experience began over 20 years ago while home schooling her own children and owning her own tutoring business. She pursued her education in teaching with two credentials and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has worked with homeschooling families for over 30 years teaching parents how to understand the way their children learn and how to support them at home. She is skilled in workshops in reading and writing, personalized learning and child advocacy, and helping families to understand the IEP process.
Dawn’s greatest passion is supporting students to learn and gain the confidence they need in their abilities to become the person they are meant to be. It is her goal to bring this support to families in a meaningful way, starting first with understanding their children’s learning styles and Dispositions (and their own) through an online Power Traits assessment and then taking them through the process of a personalized learning plan.
Dawn believes that education should be focused on a student’s real life in preparation for the life he/she will live one day. It should be customized to learning styles and encourage natural talents and interests. She is not a fan of spending needless hours with busy work and endless worksheets which not all students benefit from—students should be encouraged to explore and pursue career paths that are exciting and meaningful to them. Her own children benefited from this approach and were inspired to pursue their strengths and interests.
For twenty years Dawn watched as children suffered from anxiety and depression because they learned differently and didn’t fit into a regular classroom setting. It was a challenge to teach children that viewed themselves as misfits, often times shutting down. After coaching them to understand their learning styles and their strengths, their natural abilities began to shine and the pathways for learning were more open.
Over 8 years ago Dawn was mentored and certified by Mariaemma and Victoria, founders of LearningSuccessTM Institute. The trainings changed her own perception of how she saw her personality and learning style and inspired her to pursue educating adults and children to self- advocate for their learning needs.
Today Dawn is the proud owner and director of Solimar Academy, founded by her friends and mentors, MARIAEMMA PELULLO-WILLIS, M.S. and VICTORIA KINDLE HODSON, M.A. They have devoted the last twenty years to helping families around the world make a difference in the way they understand learning and success, and it is Dawn’s greatest desire to continue this great legacy.
Victoria Kindle Hodson, M.A.
Victoria Kindle Hodson was born and grew up in the Pacific Northwest. She attended Western Washington University and holds a Master’s degree in Psychology and a Bachelor’s degree in Education. She is an educational consultant and has taught, developed educational programs, and conducted workshops for parents and teachers for more than 25 years.
Victoria has worked in many diverse educational settings that have provided experience with the needs of widely different kinds of learners. She has trained in special education, parenting, communication skills development, and Montessori education. Over the last 30 years she has been developing an alternative way of viewing children as learners. The learning techniques and strategies she encourages are based on her research, insight, and experience in psychology and education.
Victoria has worked with and spoken to thousands of children and parents as well as homeschooling families and classroom teachers, assessing learning styles, diagnosing school problems, designing customized curriculum plans, and teaching techniques and strategies that help children learn. She has written several books for parents and teachers. With Mariaemma she co-authored and published A Self-Portrait™ Power Traits System and Discover Your Child’s Learning Style. She is also the co-author of The Compassionate Classroom and Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids.
Victoria currently lives in Ventura with her husband, Stan. She enjoys reading, cooking, yoga, and walking at the ocean.
Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis, M.S.
Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis was born and grew up in Southern California. She attended California State University Northridge where she received a B.S. in Psychology. She holds a Master’s degree in Education, and California Life Teaching Credentials for Regular and Special Education. She has been developing educational programs and conducting workshops for parents and teachers for more than 20 years.
Mariaemma was the director of a private learning center for children with learning disabilities before going into private practice. After 13 years of assessing and treating children and adults for learning “dysfunctions” she knew that she could no longer follow this erroneous and harmful model of education and began researching alternatives. For the last 16 years her passion has been guiding children and their families to understand and appreciate their natural gifts and abilities, and helping adults recuperate from negative school experiences that keep them from discovering their passions and potentials.
Mariaemma has worked with and spoken to thousands of children and parents as well as homeschooling families and classroom teachers, assessing learning styles, diagnosing school problems, designing customized curriculum plans, and teaching techniques and strategies that allow children to learn. She has also conducted training programs for literacy volunteers throughout Southern California, taught LearningSuccess™ strategies in correctional facilities, has developed assessment and teaching procedures for adult students, and has written books for parents and teachers. With Victoria she co-founded the LearningSuccess™ Institute and co-authored A Self-Portrait™ Power Traits System, Mid-Life Crisis Begins in Kindergarten, and Discover Your Child’s Learning Style.
Mariaemma currently lives in Ventura, California with her husband, Ron. In her “spare” time she loves to read and garden. Hobbies include nutrition, holistic health, interior design, and personal development.