Susan was honored, alongside her husband, with The ASCAP Foundation's Champion Award for their longtime leadership in the effort to make arts education a priority in American public schools. Originally from the San Francisco Bay area, Susan received her BA in History from Fordham University in New York City and her MA in Social Studies at Columbia University's Teachers College, where she was also certified and licensed as a NY state teacher. She began her Social Studies teaching career at Manhattan's prestigious public high school, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts. Susan later returned to Fordham and in 2005 received another MA, this time in Supervision/Administration. Susan next worked as a Social Studies Teacher and then as Assistant Principal at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, the public high school in Astoria, Queens that she co-founded with her husband. She simultaneously co-founded Exploring the Arts and has remained active today as ETA's Board President. Before entering the field of education, Susan was the owner of Creative Artists Management in New York, where she advised artists in the management of their careers, along with coordinating publicity, bookings and recording projects. Prior to that, she worked as an administrative assistant with Merrill Lynch, and during her college years was awarded a competitive internship position in the White House's Presidential Advance Office.