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Marking her 31st year of teaching (20th at Skutt Catholic), art teacher Johnna Eck has been named the Nebraska Art Teachers Association (NATA) 2020 Secondary Art Educator of the Year.

Eck’s path to a career and a life-long love of producing art was revealed in kindergarten. 

“I remember in kindergarten they called my mom to come to school to see the self-portrait I had painted,” she said. “After that I was pretty much the go-to whenever anyone needed artwork for something.” 

In fact, anyone who has been in the school commons has seen her work on display. During the initial renovation of the Skutt Catholic commons in 2012, President Patrick Slattery and then-employee Lucy Smith commissioned Eck’s three paintings inspired by the school’s iconic rose window in the chapel. 

“The three triptych paintings are my interpretation of how our lives are forever influenced by the faith we encounter at Skutt Catholic,” she said. “It has been an honor to be able to share this vision with the whole community.” 

Eck earned a BFA from Creighton University and her MFA from the University of Chicago. She holds an Art K-12 teaching certification, but her Master of Fine Arts degree allows her to teach at the college level as well. She previously taught drawing and design at Metropolitan Community College (MCC) as well.  AP  art classes at SC are concurrently enrolled with MCC, so she is still considered an adjunct professor there.

She is a mixed media artist and her work has been featured in several exhibitions and galleries including the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE); Noyes Art Gallery (Lincoln, NE); Kimmel Harding Nelson Arts Center (Nebraska City, NE); Weber Fine Arts Gallery, University of Nebraska Omaha (Omaha, NE); Creighton University Art Gallery (Omaha, NE); College of St. Mary Hillmer Art Gallery (Omaha, NE); Gallery 1516 (Omaha, NE); among many others. Eck’s artwork can be viewed online as well at

Nebraska Art Teachers Association is a professional organization whose mission is to advocate for and advance quality art education in Nebraska. Each year NATA recognizes outstanding contributions to student learning, leadership in curriculum development in local school districts and communities, and participation in professional endeavors on state and/or national levels.  The NATA Fall Conference Awards Ceremony will be held virtually on October 16.

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