Southeast Faculty Member Named Missouri Higher Education Art Educator of the Year


Carol Horst, a Southeast Missouri State University instructor of art and middle and secondary education, has been selected as the Missouri Art Education Association (MAEA) Higher Education Art Educator of the Year. She will be recognized with other award division winners during the MAEA Awards Ceremony April 6 in Branson, Missouri.

“I’m very honored and humbled to receive this award, especially since there are so many great people in the organization, many of whom are equally deserving,” Horst explained. “I have been very inspired by other members of MAEA.”

Horst was nominated to the MAEA Awards Program Committee by two Southeast alumnae art educators and MAEA members, Jami Heflin, ’12, and Marisa Wong,’13. The committee recommended Horst as the winner in the higher education division, and she was approved by the MAEA council.

“This award is outstanding and well deserved,” said Rhonda Weller-Stilson, director and associate dean of the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts. “She does an extraordinary job in service to our students. We are so happy to see her honored for her hard work and dedication.”

Horst serves as the area head of art education in Southeast’s Department of Art, and the coordinator of the University’s Art Academy, Art Reach and High School Art Exhibit.

Horst helps lay the foundation for Southeast students wanting to become art teachers, said Weller-Stilson. The classes and principles she teaches has had a profound and positive impact on future educators.

“Professor Horst knows exactly how to read a student and find the key to perfectly engaging and motivating them,” said Tiffany Johnkoski, a Southeast alumna and art teacher at Clippard Elementary School in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. “She helped light a fire under me, and when I wanted to see how far I could go, Carol Horst and the Art Education Department jumped at the opportunity to give me the tools and resources to do it.”

The MAEA awards recognize excellence and the contributions of individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly to art education in Missouri. Nominees must spend at least 51 percent of their work day in the job division for which they have been nominated.  The awards also focus professional attention on quality art education, increase public awareness of the importance of quality art education and set standards for quality art education, showing that those standards can be achieved.

MAEA promotes, preserves and perpetuates visual art education locally, regionally and nationally. The Missouri Art Education Association advocates for quality visual arts education by supporting creative teaching, providing opportunities for professional development and encouraging the study and implementation of best practices in the discipline.

In 2017, she was selected to the Missouri State Board of Education to represent grades 6-12 to work on the Fine Arts Standards as a Work Group Member for the State. In 2016, she received the Friend of the Arts Award from the Jackson (Missouri) School District’s Art Department. She was also the recipient of the Southeast Missouri State University Civic Award in 2015 for her service to the University and community. She has served as a board member of the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri and as the coordinator of the organization’s annual Children’s Arts Festival.

Prior to joining the University in 2008, she was an art educator in the Jackson School District and the Rockwood School District in Eureka, Missouri.

Horst earned her Master of Arts in teaching in 1980 and Bachelor of Science in education in 1976, both from Southeast Missouri State University. She regularly presents at numerous state and regional art education conferences. She is a practicing exhibiting artist, and has exhibited work at the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum at Southeast’s River Campus, and Southeast’s Catapult Creative House in downtown Cape Girardeau.

“I want students to be the best they can be,” Horst said. “I hope to help them become creative problem solvers and appreciate our diversity in the arts.”