In Memoriam: Scott Alan Atiyeh, Salisbury High School Art Teacher

Scott Alan Atiyeh, 50, an art teacher at Salisbury High School, died Feb. 3, 2013.


Artist, husband, father and teacher, Scott Alan Atiyeh, 50, died on Feb. 3, 2013 after courageously living with Glioblastoma multiforme for the past two years.

A resident of Allentown, Scott was an art teacher at Salisbury High School.  The strongest reflection of Scott was his love for his family, to whom he was endlessly devoted.  His wife, Dr. Christine Zitrides Atiyeh, and six-year-old daughter, Marina Sandra Atiyeh, were his world.

Born in Allentown Pennsylvania, Scott lived a bold and expansive life that he shared freely with everyone he met, whether here, in his longtime home, San Francisco, or anywhere else he lived around the globe. Scott was one of the first resident-artists of Bethlehem’s Banana Factory, where his evocative, multi-media works in terra cotta shocked, intrigued and inspired Lehigh Valley art patrons. Scott believed that art is a healing and transformative medium, a principle that guided his approach in the classroom, where Scott was known for his ability to reach all students.  

As a teacher, friend, colleague, or family member, Scott encouraged everyone to take risks, to live deliberately, and to embrace creativity, optimism and spirituality as he did each day of his life. Scott’s unabashed sense of humor and singularly vibrant persona forged a true trail of happiness for all who knew him.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Scott is also survived by his devoted and loving father, Salim Atiyeh; sister, Shannon Atiyeh Downtain and brother-in-law, Troy Downtain; niece and nephew, Callista and Gage Downtain; aunt, Kathryn Atiyeh Lemke; cousin, Marc Lemke; as well as his mother- and father-in-law, Bronwen and Thomas Zitrides. Scott is predeceased by his mother, Sandra Goodhart Atiyeh.

Too numerous to name are the friends, artists, educators, and students touched by Scott to whom his family is ever grateful for their support, encouragement, and love. A celebration of life will be planned in the future, but the family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations are made to one of the two scholarships named in Scott’s honor: The Scott Atiyeh Scholarship Fund (providing access to the arts for at-risk children) c/o ArtsQuest, 25 West 3rd Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015 OR The Scott Atiyeh Memorial Scholarship c/o Salisbury Township Senior High School, 500 E. Montgomery St., Allentown, PA 18103.

Natasha Guttman February 05, 2013 at 12:33 PM
My daughter admitted to me last night that she had skipped classes in high school to go an sit with Mr. Atiyeh in the art room. She loved talking to him and hearing his stories. He was a very special person and will be truly missed.
Cecilia Eberhard February 05, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Mr. Atiyeh encouraged my son, who is now finishing his art degree at Temple. We are very grateful to him, and our thoughts are with his family.
Jolie May 14, 2013 at 01:38 AM
My daughter was bullied by girls at Salisbury with no one stepping in to help even after I spoke to the principal and asst principal. Mr. Atiyeh allowed her to come during lunch from where she was bullied, to work on her art. All the time she was there, he talked with her assuring her things would be OK. Today, things are very OK and many thanks for Mr. Atiyeh being the kind and compassionate teacher that he was, she is successful and happy today. Mr. Atiyeh is a legend and is being rewarded for his goodness.


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