Students taking art classes at Mundelein High School this year would be happy to know they are being taught by one of the best teachers around. Actually, the very best art teacher in the state, according to the Illinois Art Education Association.
The IAEA named MHS teacher Jonathan Pruc the 2021 IAEA High School Art Educator of the Year. The group’s awards and scholarship committee cited Pruc’s professional performance, service and leadership as exemplary.
“Jonathan is an educator who thinks outside the box, looks at art and education through a critical lens and constantly works to connect and engage his students in their learning,” according to a statement from the IAEA.
In 2021, due to the pandemic, he was instrumental in facilitating the creation of a virtual art exhibition experience. In the last four years, his students have been awarded more than $4 million in scholarships through ArtConnectED. Pruc utilized the challenges of pandemic teaching to connect his students virtually with a diverse array of professional artists through his Visiting Artist Talk series.
In his 12 years of teaching, he has taught AP Studio Art, Honors Drawing Painting, 2D Art, 3D Art, Digital Photography & Graphic Design, and Special Education Art at MHS.
Pruc is a leader in IAEA’s Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee, co-creator of the Black Creatives Matter and Latinex Creatives Matter curricular resources, director of the Northern Regional Art Exhibition for ArtConnecteED (formerly IHSAE) and former Senior Scholarship Exhibition assistant director.
He earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree with an Emphasis in Art Education from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009. He then graduated from Concordia University in Chicago in 2016 with a Master’s of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Instruction.