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We Share Our Gratitude For Arts Educators And Celebrate Dr. Nicole Crane’s 2020 Florida Outstanding Art Educator of the Year Award

Dr. Nicole Crane is an art teacher at Elbridge Gale Elementary School and recently received the 2020 Florida Outstanding Art Educator of the Year Award from the Florida Art Education Association (FAEA).  The award recognizes individuals who have achieved the highest level of professionalism in art education and have contributed their services in an exemplary way to the FAEA and to shared professional goals.  The Rickie Report speaks with Dr. Crane about her journey and what everyone needs to know about the arts in our schools.  We have been grateful for the arts which have given us comfort during the Covid crises.  The appreciation of the arts begins in childhood.  We wish our readers a peaceful Thanksgiving and reflect on the gratitude that fills our lives.









D R.       N I C O L E        C R A N E




“I have fond memories of my teachers and the role they played in my life,” Dr. Crane said. I decided to use my artistic talent and become a teacher to share that passion with students.”




We celebrate Dr. Nicole Crane and the joy of creativity to her classroom!  She originally intended to become a high school photography teacher, but changed her mind during the internship she held as part of the certification process for art educators, in which teachers split their time between primary and secondary schools. She tells The Rickie Report, “After spending a semester interning in elementary school, I decided that was the level I would teach. Twenty-three years later, I am still grateful for that decision and I love my job.”


That gratitude and dedication to her profession motivates the instruction she provides to her students in her classroom. She also makes an effort to offer guidance and serve as a positive example for the kids she teaches, lessons they will take with them once they move on to middle school and beyond.  “I hope they have a love for art, creativity, and innovation,” Dr. Crane said. “Regardless of their artistic ability, I instill the value and enjoyment of art as it relates to their academic subjects, future career choices, and everyday lives.”









“It is an honor to receive the award and I am thankful for the support of my school and colleagues,” Dr. Crane said. “I can attest to the quality of our county’s art educators so it is a sincere honor to be nominated by my peers and selected by a state committee.”  From 2008-2018, she served on the board of directors of the FAEA, including a stint as president. Her high-level involvement in the field is no surprise, as Dr. Crane always loved art. From the time she was in high school, she knew that art education would be her chosen career.  One of Dr. Crane’s teachers, who she describes as “amazing”, supported her interests and helped her find college photography programs. This led to her completing a bachelor’s degree in photography, followed by a master’s and doctorate in art education from Florida State University.





Q  &  A      WITH      DR.     NICOLE     CRANE





TRR:  Why did you choose photography as your medium?  


Dr. Crane tells us, “I remember taking photography and loved capturing moments that would otherwise pass possible unnoticed. At the time, it was film not digital. The process of photography from taking the photo to developing and printing and all the possibilities it offered were what drew me to the medium.

TRR:How do your students access photography equipment?

Dr. Crane explains, “Over the years, we have received grants to cover expenses. The availability of devices has increased the opportunity for digital photography.





TRR: Especially since Covid, our teachers have been stretched to the max! We want the public to better understand the challenges you face, as an art teacher.

Dr. Crane says, “Kids still love to create. Whether we are in the art room using a variety of mediums or drawing together virtually, they enjoy the opportunity to express themselves. Students are resilient and will be stronger based on their experiences.”

TRR:Is there a way for the public to make donations to help in this effort?


Dr. Crane tells us, “The arts always welcome donations and financial support. Teachers have Adopt-A-Class funds and donations are always welcome!”

The Florida Art Education Association (FAEA) promotes visual arts education in Florida through professional development, service, advancement of knowledge and leadership. FAEA promotes quality instruction in visual arts education conducted by certified instructors of art. FAEA encourages research in art education, holds public discussions, sponsors institutes, conferences and programs; publishes articles, reports and surveys; and works with other related agencies in support of visual arts education.



Dr. Nicole Crane received her BS in Photography before she went on to earn her Masters and PhD in Art Education from Florida State University. Nicole is a National Board Certified Art Teacher and National STEM Certified with over 22 years teaching experience. She has taught in Palm Beach County for 14 years and is also a college adjunct instructor.  Nicole was selected as the 2011 Florida Art Elementary Teacher of the Year by the Florida Art Education Association and served on the FAEA Board of Directors for eight years including President from 2016-2017.


To be in touch with Dr. Nicole Crane:

Elbridge Gale Elementary

1915 Royal Fern Dr.  Wellington, Fl 33414

2011 Florida’s Outstanding Elementary Art Educator




For more information about FEAE:

402 Office Plaza    Tallahassee FL 32301

Ph: (850) 205-0068

Office Hours:  M-F 8:00am – 4:30pm







For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

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