Scholar Athletes Leadership Academy uniquely propels young people towards their own interests and aspirations through a synchronistic blend of academics and athletics. A life-long love of learning will be fostered and fortified by placing equal value on the enjoyment of productive struggle and overall academic attainment.     


Scholar Athletes Leadership Academy lifts young people beyond their vision of capability to become self-directed learners; developing a growth mindset, becoming young leaders, and applying unique global perspective and experience.

Founder's Welcome

Fixing factories is profoundly difficult. Designing from scratch is life-affirming. We have taken what global society already collectively knows about fortifying whole, healthy young people and put it together in a model of school that celebrates a universal design for learning….rich with flexibility and agency.     

You won’t find outdated pacing guides or curriculum maps on our campus. We have designed a school to truly prepare our scholar athletes for the life they want to live – to become their best selves, and to enjoy a fulfilled professional life. Success is necessarily and uniquely individual; in much the same way as a young person’s educational attainment should never be standardized and/or compared to another’s.  After all, growth and development is non-linear. Our growth-minded graduates are young learners and leaders forged with resiliency, moral fiber and global perspective.     

Families choose specialist and private schools not just because of overcrowding, safety or boredom. Alternative "micro" schooling offers increased access, agency and authenticity. If young people know what they want to do, they had better get ready for it. Preparation for life starts with motivation and engagement, and leads to self-direction, self-regulation, self-discovery, self-discipline and ultimately, self-sufficiency. Learning how to learn, developing/prioritizing skills over content, and establishing exciting post-18 pathways are the covetable consequence of meeting a young person where they (not others) are at. This is the foundation of all meaningful relationships.

Commensurate to our operational intent and overarching mission, SALA provides a differentiated school experience that encourages professional educators to operate the elevator at all times, but not necessarily push the button for each floor. 

Welcome to SALA!

Executive Leadership Team

Sam Gough

Founder/Director of Admission & Outreach

Jim Dugan

Chief Operating Officer

Marisol Portilla

Director of Student Success

SALA Educators

Vishal Sandhu

Professional Educator

Melissa Coleman

Professional Educator

Scott Middlemass

Player Development Director
and Academy Head Coach

Laura Hunter

Athletic Coach and Professional Educator

Brielle Severn

Professional Educator

Deep Battacharyya

Professional Educator

Anna M-Szydlowski

Professional Educator

SALA Support Staff

Sarah Noble

Director of Finance

Kevin Parks

Senior Advisor

Felipe Arantes

South America Liaison Officer

Scholar Athletes Leadership Academy does not discriminate in its admissions, or in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs, or in access to or treatment in any other School-administered program on the basis of religion, race, color, sex, ancestry, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, or any other protected category in accordance with applicable Federal, State and local laws.

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Contact Us


© Copyright 2023 by Scholar Athletes LLC

Tel: 732-796-4674

Email: info@scholar-athletes.com

460 Milltown Rd., Bridgewater, NJ  08807

614 Lambs Rd., Pitman, NJ   08071