We love celebrating our Docent Corps and all of their hard work at the Museum. Meet Susan Law, another member of the Corps who dedicates countless hours at the Museum to further the mission of “Engaging and Inspiring through Arts, Gardens and Education”!
In the words of Susan…
My decision to move to Jacksonville from Brooklyn, NY in 1976 was easily made after visiting my brother and leaving behind an icy, snowy winter only to arrive and find people in bathing suits lounging around the pool enjoying the brilliant sunshine. I felt like I had entered a Beach Party Bingo movie set and decided on the spot that this is where I needed to be. I had graduated college from Stony Brook University on Long Island and was teaching students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Since there is always a shortage of special education teachers, there was no problem finding a teaching job and luckily I could also attend the brand new University of North Florida and get my Masters of Education degree. As a special education teacher for the next 20 years one of the highlights for my students was to attend the annual Very Special Arts festival, which started as a one day event at the Jacksonville Landing and then moved to the UNF campus. There were not many field trips my students could attend, but here they were welcomed and celebrated!
In my next position as a Human Resource Development specialist with Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resource Systems (FDLRS), I worked with educators in Duval, Nassau and Clay providing professional development and collaborating with various service providers for students with special needs. I was able to pursue my passion of bringing the joy of creativity and artistic expression to students that aren’t always included and served as the liaison between the school system and the art institutions in Jacksonville, securing grants, providing training, and serving on advisory boards.
CUMMER MUSEUM: Why did you become a Docent?
SUSAN LAW: When I retired last year, I knew my close involvement with the Cummer Museum was definitely not going to end, but that I would just move into a new role. After being a part of the VSA festival since its inception, my love of working with children and teachers made becoming a docent a perfect fit. I already knew the wonderful people that make up the Art Connections staff, being a teacher came naturally, now I had to take a crash course in art history! The docent training was terrific and super prepared me to lead school and adult tours of the museum and gardens.
CM: What your favorite part of the job?
SL: When I meet each group of children that visit the museum, their eagerness and inquisitive faces energize me to give them the best tour I possibly can. I love their thoughtful questions, their insights and their enthusiasm. It is my job to make them feel comfortable at the museum and many of them leave wanting to come back with their parents to share this wonderful experience. I have also met the most wonderful people, my fellow docents, and feel lucky to be a part of this amazing, dedicated group of people.
CM: What are your favorite things to do when you are not donating time to the museum?
SL: Being retired for over a year now, I find I am busier than ever. I am on the Board of Directors for Very Special Arts of Florida, enjoy traveling, knitting, taking classes at UNF’s Ollie Institute, riding my bike and visiting my little grandsons in Gainesville. I also still play racquetball, a sport I have enjoyed for almost 40 years (Yipes!).
Thank you Susan for your work at the Museum!