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Dear Art Leaders,

Welcome back to another fantastic year of SCALA!  About 20 years ago, when I first encouraged an art teacher to get involved in SCALA, she said, “I’m not an art leader.  I’m an art teacher.  Why would I go?”  “Wait, what?”  I inquired.  She continued, “Am I even allowed there?”  I finally understood her confusion.  Taken literally, Suffolk County Art Leaders Association, she thought it meant the leaders of the arts.  I explained, “SCALA is all about you.  You are a leader of art.  It is your professional organization.  SCALA is for everyone!  Art Teachers, Students, Artists, Art Retirees, Art Directors - everyone who values art education should be involved.  Everyone is welcome!”  The name was selected to empower art teachers to participate and get involved in our county organization.  It was selected to encourage Art Education Advocacy!  We know how important art education is, and we need to share that with everyone!  

Our SCALA professional development is impressive and inspiring.  Our SCALA art exhibits are beautiful – members and students work alike.  I am in awe at the beautiful works of art our teachers and students create.  Our scholarships impact art students' futures; we are a fun and friendly team!  The way our SCALA members consistently teach their students to express themselves through art is a skill that will better their lives and our world for eternity.    

We would also like to share a new opportunity for your students to make a difference by creating thankful art this November for our United States Veterans.  Keep an eye out for the informational flyer that is coming out soon.

SCALA can only happen with you!  We want you to get involved!  My main goal as President this year is to have more art teachers get involved in our professional organization.  This means you!  Everyone can help in some fashion.  It is a minor time commitment from making a flyer, taking a picture, creating a video, assisting at a show, hosting an open studio time in your classroom, ordering SCALA swag, posting on social media, assisting the treasurer, taking attendance at a workshop, etc.  There is a place for everyone in SCALA.  Please use your gifts to help our county organization grow.  I invite you to attend our virtual meeting on September 20, 2023, at 4:30 p.m. at Showing up is the first step in getting involved.  If you can’t make it, send me an email at  We still want you to be involved!

I want to thank our immediate past president, Lauren Lewonka, for her leadership and forward motion through a very tough pandemic, as well as the excellent Executive Board and many past presidents, Grace Barrett, Theresa Dunnells, Pat Stork, Carol Brown, as well as past professional development chair, Carrie Grillo.  Without these Art Leaders making it happen, our organization would not be the amazing organization it is today.

Please talk to us about your ideas, listen to a meeting, and become an active part of our county professional organization.  What can SCALA do to serve you better, and how can you help to serve the art teachers and students of Suffolk County?

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Dr. Diana Cook
SCALA President

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