At the beginning of the school day on September 28, Nickelback’s song “Photograph,” played on the school speakers in dedication to Alyce Walkcavich, a visual arts teacher of 24 years at Douglas Anderson (DA).
Visual art students and DA faculty alike wore black and white, the colors of a Dalmatian, Walkcavich’s favorite animal to support during her last day at the school.
Monday the beloved art teacher goes into retirement. Students close to her could be seen upset over her last days at the school.
On her last day, students dressed in black and white took pictures with their retiring teacher, most of them sad to see her go. Many of them expressed their love for the art teacher and how she has helped them grow as artists.
“I’ve been so busy, I haven’t really even thought about what I am going to do when I retire. People keep asking me that as if I have some grand plan and I have none. Maybe I’ll sleep for the first two weeks,” said Walkcavich.
For the past year Walkcavich has been preparing for retirement. She worked with Ingrid Damiani, the art teacher who took over for her after her retirement.
“Mrs. Damiani is a professional photographer for twenty years and she knows so much,” said Walkcavich. “I’ve been so busy up to this point trying to get everything organized. I have more than twenty years of this stuff in here that I’ve been going through with Mrs. Damiani’s help,”
In additionto this, she has been trainingthe incoming art teacher on general school procedures while continuing to teach her classes each day.
Walkcavich knows she will continue her art outside of the DA community. She wants to keep fulfilling her passion for photography.
“I’ve always been an artist,” said Walkcavich. She hopes her students will continue to work hard under their new teacher and take their art outside of just school and into the rest of the world.
“I’m going to miss the students the most. I love to teach. I’ve always taught. That’s why this is going to be so hard,” said Walkcavich.
“I never thought about retiring too much, I just didn’t feel like it. I taught another year and I think that the year before this one I felt it was about time. I did one extra year because I still didn’t feel like it was time and then I realized I really needed to move on, it’s time,” said Walkcavich.
Though Walkcavich was sad about leaving her students and the DA community, she hopes to teach others later on after her retirement.
“Everyone keeps asking me if I’m going to do something once I retire, so I guess I’m going to have to,” said Walkcavich.