By Jackie Drake
Alice Zincone ’89, ’98 was named the 2014-2015 Special Needs Art Educator of the Year this past fall by the North Carolina Art Education Association.
“As anyone would be, I was very happy, pleased, and proud,” said Zincone, who teaches art and music to visually impaired students at Governor Morehead School in Raleigh.
In addition to her teaching duties, Zincone brings various artists and performers to her school through the Artists in Schools program from the United Arts Council. Each summer, she runs a three-week summer program for visually impaired students from all over the state.
“I try to give students unique art and music opportunities,” she says. “It’s very rewarding to give these students opportunities that they probably wouldn’t have in their home communities.”
“My favorite part is interacting with the kids,” she continued. “We’re a residential school where the students stay from Sunday night to Friday noon, so we’re like a big family.”
Since her mom worked as a physical therapist for those with special needs, Zincone was able to see the importance of learning adaptations and modifications for people of all ability levels.
Zincone initially earned a bachelor of fine arts in design from ECU in 1989. After working as a jewelry designer for seven years, she wanted to switch gears and try something new. She decided to get an education degree. As a Greenville native, she knew ECU would again be the right choice.
“I had the art background and wanted to teach. I thought it would be a good next step. I’ve always enjoyed learning and gaining new experiences,” she said.
Since she had completed all her general course requirements, it didn’t take her long to complete her second degree.
“Campus was still fairly similar. I just slid right back in,” she said.
She taught elementary school in Johnston County for three years and in Wake County for five years before starting at Governor Morehead School in 2006.
She became a certified Teacher of the Visually Impaired in 2009 and earned National Board Certification in early and middle grades art in 2010.