Tom McCune, adjunct professor in the Department of Art, has come full circle with his experience at Southeast Missouri State University. McCune, originally from Perryville, Mo., attended Southeast as an undergraduate. During this time, Tom served two tours of duty in Vietnam as a radioman in the U.S. Navy from 1971-1974. After returning home, Tom was able to finish his education and received his bachelor’s degree in art education in 1977. He then completed his master’s degree in art education at Southeast in 1981.
Once he finished his education, Tom began his teaching career at the South Iron R-I school district in Annapolis, Mo., as a junior and senior high art teacher. He also supervised K-6 classroom teachers for weekly art and curriculum instruction. After eight years, Tom moved his family to Aurora, Mo., to teach high school art and be the Fine Arts Coordinator for the school district. Tom did not return to Southeast Missouri until nineteen years later after he retired from teaching in public schools in 2004. Now he is teaching future art teachers in his SE 315 course on the Techniques of Teaching Art and his SE 370 Block III Field Experience.
“My favorite aspect of the job is working with future art teachers,” Tom said. “It is great to experience their enthusiasm and excitement about becoming a teacher, as well as helping them to prepare for a very rewarding career.”
Returning to Southeast to teach students conjures up many memories for Tom. He says some of his favorite moments at Southeast as a student were the memories of living at Meyers Hall and the friendships he developed during this time. Tom says he also enjoyed the various fine art productions ranging from theatre to the visual arts.
“I enjoy meeting new people and chose Southeast because of the excellent art education program, the cost and the proximity to my hometown of Perryville,” explained Tom. “Southeast gave me a great foundation to prepare me for a professional career in art education.”
Tom says Southeast provided him with a well-rounded education in both academics and the fine arts, broadening his life experiences. Now that he has returned to the area, he says he enjoys meeting new people involved in the arts and trying new restaurants.
Tom’s free time ties in his love of art. He says he enjoys watercolor painting, drawing, black and white photography and visiting local art museums. Tom has had the opportunity to visit Paris, Rotterdam and Amsterdam to study the great master artist’ work and plans to travel to Italy in the near future.
“When time permits it, my wife and I also enjoy camping,” Tom said. “I also like fly fishing and archery hunting.”
Tom’s advice to future Southeast students is to develop a good work ethic, respect the people you work with and be willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.