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

Rickie@therickiereport.com   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

Sharon Segal SOLO Exhibit and Reception

Sharon Segal is a Florida-based artist whose artwork makes people smile.  Using various mediums, her works combine bright colors, shapes and textures. Her love for animals has led to the creation of novel, playful and unconventional cartoon-like creatures. Their eyes are so large, you just have to grin. They are so lovable, you want to take them home! A member of the Wellington Art Society, Sharon is the Featured Artist at a SOLO exhibition at Whole Foods in Wellington through August.  The Public is invited to a Reception on Friday, July 18th.  The Rickie Report shares the details here.



Public Reception Honoring

Sharon Segal

Friday, July 18, 2014

6:30 – 8:00 pm

Art Exhibit Continues Thru August

Whole Foods Market cafe

2635 SR7     Wellington, FL



The Whole Foods Market on SR7 in Wellington has a large cafe, lined with windows which offer nice natural lighting. It’s a perfect setting to display art and Wellington Art Society is pleased to partner with Whole Foods to bring this show to the communityWhole Foods will provide music, hot and cold appetizers, and drinks.  A five-dollar donation is requested which goes to benefit the Art Society’s scholarship fund.    RSVP to Whole Foods  561.904.4000.   This year the Art Society presented five $1,000 to area high school seniors who are planning to study art in college. 




"Diver Owl" by Sharon Segal

“Diver Owl” by Sharon Segal


Born and raised in Florida, Sharon comes from an artistic and talented family.  She describes herself as a “self-taught” artist, “I’ve been doodling/drawing since I was little, but only recently thought it would be a good idea to pick up a paint brush.”  Her musical abilities enhance her creativity.



"Octopus" by Sharon Segal

Octopus” by Sharon Segal



Do you ever feel like you’re being watched?  Sharon Segal tells The Rickie Report, “My whimsical characters come to life when I envision their excessively large eyes watching over us.”  Part of her education includes a degree in computer animation, which she “feels comes out in my artwork with the those big eyes.”



"Pablo" by Sharon Segal

“Pablo” by Sharon Segal



Her experience with animation lends itself to give personality to each of her creations.  Sharon started seriously painting when she won the poster contest for the signature artist for the Coral Springs Art Fair in 2010.  “I won a free booth at the fair…and I panicked because I had no other paintings!  So I went home and painted for the next couple of months so I would have something to hang up at the booth.  It was such a great experience! ”  


"Kevin" by Sharon Segal

“Kevin” by Sharon Segal


She goes on to explain, “Using various mediums allows me to link animation with other art forms. Sharon has degrees in advertising/public relations, graphic design, computer animation and education.  She develops logos and designs for varied businesses  throughout the community. Currently Sharon is a sixth grade math teacher who integrates the arts into her classroom curriculum to enhance the learning experience for her students.   

"Pajama Party" by Sharon Segal

“Pajama Party” by Sharon Segal

Sharon’s art is whimsical, fun and young at heart. “My art really has one purpose…to make someone smile.  I love watching the reaction of people looking at my artwork!  It makes me feel so good that I made someone happy.  It’s great to forget and escape from the crazies of daily life and have even a small moment of ‘happy’…I feel my art does that for people…and it doesn’t matter their age!” Sharon looks forward to writing and illustrating a children’s book in the future.  This exhibit at Whole Foods is an ideal opportunity to introduce children to art as children will especially love her work.  

"Maria" by Sharon Segal

“Maria” by Sharon Segal


For more information about 
Sharon Segal’s artwork, please visit her website:


In its 34th year, The Wellington Art Society is open to artists of all mediums and patrons of the arts, providing both local and regional artists the platform to share their work, learn more about their craft and serve the community through their art.  Both local and regional artists can display their art work in local galleries, interact with other artists and serve the community through their art. The Wellington Art Society is open to any resident in Palm Beach County. Membership forms will be available if you would like to become a member.  A 501(c)(3) charitable organization, its mission is to educate and encourage originality and productivity among its members and area youth through programs designed to further the advancement of cultural endeavors in Palm Beach County.



For more information  please visit  www.wellingtonartsociety.orgwellingtonartsocietyblogspot.com .or contact W.A.S. President, Donna Donelan at:  dwdonelan325@comcast.net




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

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420