Top Art Educator is in Palm Beach County

Top Art Educator in Florida is Right Here in Palm Beach County
Posted on 10/26/2020
Dr. Nicole Crane

Dr. Nicole Crane is an art teacher at Elbridge Gale Elementary School, with more than 20 years of experience in education. She 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.

“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 her 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.

“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.”

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.

“After spending a semester interning in elementary school, I decided that was the level I would teach,” Dr. Crane said. “Twenty-two 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.”

The FAEA will honor the 2020 award winners during a virtual awards ceremony at their annual Professional Development Conference on November 8.

The School District of Palm Beach County