Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Linda Quinn new director of Long Valley Arts

Once a teacher, always a teacher. At least that's the case for Linda Quinn.

She retired from Long Valley Middle School, where she worked for 28 years as a band director, and now has taken the post as director of Long Valley Arts.

She also still oversees the Color Guard for West Morris Central High School.

"I'm trying to pick up the slack where the schools cut out because of the budget cuts," Quinn says. "We're also trying to make it reasonable enough so that all kids can participate."

Long Valley Arts is a nonprofit organization founded in 2007 to cultivate the arts in the area and to support local cultural organizations. It's an all-volunteer group, so it needs people from the community to come together and teach for free, and that's where Quinn comes in.

"I get it all organized," Quinn says, "I got the teachers, I chose them, they had to create a (brochure), and they put it on a website."

Quinn, who has been working with the town for a long time, always promised that when she had the time to do it, she'd take over as director.

"So the minute I said I was retiring, I took over the Long Valley Arts."

Even though Quinn's field is music, she says that music won't be the only activity that Long Valley Arts has to offer. For example, tutoring and learning how to sew also will be available. Other activities that are creative and even physical will be available as well.

"We have crafts, and we have Zumba classes," Quinn says.

The group will offer music lessons "because the schools are no longer teaching it," she added.

Quinn always has had an interest in teaching music. When she was in middle school, music was her favorite class, and when she went to college at William Paterson University, she got her bachelor's degree in music. She then got her master's degree in music education for kindergarten through 12th grade at Montclair State University.

She had not meant to retire at the time that she did, but because of changes in the state's education system, she didn't want to lose her benefits. Still, that hasn't kept her from being with the children.

"I had to retire from teaching, but I don't want to separate myself from the kids," Quinn says, "I enjoy being with them too much."

Anyone interested in being a part of Long Valley Arts can visit the group's website at

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