Meet the Art and Design Department

 

Mrs. Melissa Ambs
Art Foundations; Ceramics; and Fashion Studio

This is my fifth year teaching Art Foundations, Fashion Studio, and Graphic Arts classes at Oak Hills High School.  I am an Oak Hills graduate myself and after high school, I studied Graphic Design and Art History at the University of Cincinnati, College of DAAP. I continued my education at U.C., earning my Master’s degree in Art Education in 2008. Before teaching at OHHS, I taught art to Pre-K to 8th-grade students at St. Cecilia School in Oakley. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy traveling the U.S. and abroad with my husband, Brian.  We are new parents to our now one-year-old boy, Eli.  We love spending time with family, friends, and our beloved fur babies. In my personal artwork, I’ve worked in a range of mediums, but I am consistently drawn to subject matter that is inspired by natural elements and has a graphic simplicity.

Mr. Daniel Couch
Architectural Drawing; Advanced AutoCAD; AutoCAD: Basics; 3D Game Animation I; 3D Game Modeling II; and Graphic Arts
Anime Club Advisor

Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time with me would eventually ask themselves. “Hey, is that guy an adult male, or is he a child in an adult body. This question might be raised after knowing these facts about me: At my wedding, to my lovely wife Alex, we had lightsabers and legos, I have a toy and comic collection that most children would dream about, and in my free time, I enjoy gaming of all kinds.

This will be my fifth full-time year at Oak Hills High School. I have been lucky to teach classes that allow me to express my passion for all things nerdy and artistic. In my classes, I like to put a focus on working together and making things. We make life-sized robots, working prototypes of video games, costumes, and detailed architectural models. My favorite part of the job is assisting these young designers in the development of their creative problem-solving skills, helping them to transform their early concepts into fully realized products.

I received my B.F.A from the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program. During that time, I focused on drawing, oil painting, and sculpture. I have since focused on everything from toy making to costume design, and T-shirt printing. I enjoy learning new art-making techniques and I am always open to adding a new skill to my tool belt.

Mrs. Bridget Dignan-Cummins
Ceramics; Honors Enamels, Mosaics, and Glass; Honors Fibers; Sculpture; and Studio Art AP 3D Design

I am a mother of two wonderful daughters, Harper and Emery. My husband, Todd, works for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and we met working for our local stage union. I have a dog, Willow, and recently moved to a new home we are filling with love and chaos. Interests and hobbies are a struggle to stay up on with a life filled with so much between work and family, but I do love working with fibers and glass. At my old house, I had a torch set up in a studio in my basement to work on lampworking by creating glass beads, so it will take some time to get that fired up in the new space. I also try to carry with me a ball of yarn and knitting needles whenever I have an appointment or when my kids have gymnastics.

I am privileged enough to teach the most amazing classes; Advanced Placement Studio Art 3d, Sculpture, Ceramics, Honors Fibers, and Honors Enamels, Mosaics and Glass. These courses allow me to showcase media to young artists who are looking for a unique material to fully express themselves. These materials have a functional tactile quality that allows for more senses to experience the art and reach audiences in different ways. They carry a story with them different from paint, pencils, and photography and it is what draws me to these materials as an artist.

I am an Oak Hills Alumni, and I went on to earn my Bachelors of Fine Arts degree at Bowling Green State University, focusing on Computer Graphics, Glass and Metals. At BGSU, I was a resident advisor and hall director. I returned to Cincinnati and worked for our local stage union while I earned my teaching certification at the University of Cincinnati DAAP. I later returned to UC to earn my Masters of Education in Educational Leadership.

Ms. Katie Jacobs
Art Foundations

I am excited to be the newest member of the OHHS Art & Design team, and begin my first year of teaching! I graduated from Mount St. Joseph University earlier this year, earning my Bachelor of Arts in Art Education, and am looking forward to sharing my passion for art with students. 

Outside of school, I love to explore new art techniques and use a wide variety of materials. People often ask what my favorite art medium is, and I usually say that it’s whatever I am working with that day. I love it all, from drawing to printmaking, painting, and ceramics; which makes Art Foundations the perfect class for me to teach! In addition to art, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, being outside, drinking coffee, and listening to country music. I can be found boating at Lake Cumberland with my family quite often in the summer, where I love to wakeboard and wakesurf.

Ms. Kristy Kopf
Digital Design; Digital Design MX; Graphic Arts MX; and Painting and Mixed Media

“Think left and think right, think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try”. -Dr. Seuss

I am an artist, a mom, and a teacher. Outside of school, I attempt to balance raising my son, Theo, taking adventures near and far, playing & watching sports and making art. There is often a half finished project in my wake and several other projects in the planning stages. In the last 24 years, I have been blessed to teach almost every grade level at Oak Hills Schools. I believe the most important concept/skill taught in my classes is Creative Problem Solving.

Mrs. Francine Gibson
Art Foundations; Digital Art: Illustrator; Digital Art: InDesign; Digital Art: Photoshop; Technical Graphics; and Video Technology

I am passionate about serving others. As a Christian, dedicated mother, wife, teacher, volunteer and avid runner, I have a life made for sharing. I grew up on the West Side and met my husband working at the Dent Krogers. I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design from Miami University. I worked in the field for 8.5 years as a digital retoucher using the newly released Adobe Photoshop. There is no doubt in my mind that almost losing my sister in a tragic car accident forever changed me. I decided to follow my heart and pursue a more meaningful career. In 2001, I earned my Masters degree in Art Education from the University of Cincinnati and began teaching at my alma mater, Oak Hills High School. Here I have found my calling to meet the needs of all students of all abilities. It is exciting and I am happy to say this will be my nineteenth year.

In 2016, my family moved to a brick victorian “forever” home that was built in 1875. I have always had a fond appreciation for antiques and master craftsmanship. Being a parent is a blessing and a learning experience filled with rewards and challenges. My teenage sons participate in the music program at their school, Shaun (our oldest) plays drums and performed in the Marching Band and Aaron is a competition pianist. They both excel in Science and English. Our favorite family memories come from our annual summer vacation on the lake with our extended family. Food, fun and plenty of water sports are shared with all in one big house. My family supports my marathon running as we travel once a year to a new city for a race, I have completed seventeen. For a person that came late into the sport, first as a walker for Team in Training then a qualifier and participant in the 2016 Boston Marathon, I pride myself on perseverance and goal achievement.  Next year Shaun will join me in running the half marathon. I as well as my family volunteer at Mother Margaret Hall, Good Samaritan Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Duke Energy Museum Center and the Animal Adoption Foundation. Helping others gives more meaning to your life.

I am a firm believer that it is important to learn from your past experiences and those of others to be more effective, more productive and wiser. My curriculum connects students’ interests, experiences, and talents to the “real world.” Our school is one of the few able to provide students with the Adobe Creative Suite software (Photoshop, Illustrator, and lnDesign) for the creative process in multiple classes.  My course activities aim to promote creative problem solving, self-awareness and social awareness skills that provide my students with the life skills they need to engage in school and succeed in life.

Mr. Steve Groh
Capstone; Darkroom Photography; Digital and Alternative Photography; and Studio Art AP 2D Photography
Art Club Advisor

Steve Groh has been teaching art for over two decades and most of those years have been here at Oak Hills. His wife also works at the high school and they have two sons in the district. Mr. Groh is an ’88 alumnus who was inspired to pursue art as a career by his own art teacher. He attended Bowling Green State University where he graduated with honors in 1992, earning a B.F.A in graphic design. He then went on to earn his M.A. in Art Education at the University of Cincinnati where he was the Outstanding Graduate of his program in 1995. He is primarily the photography teacher these days and really enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for this art form with his students. He loves traveling and has taken groups of students on educational trips to Italy, France, Spain, and beyond. Preparing students to be global citizens is part of the mission statement at Oak Hills and he takes that goal seriously. He is a fun-loving guy who enjoys the outdoors and can often be found hiking in the woods, exploring downtown, or relaxing on a hammock with a good book.

Ms. Jamie Schorsch
AP Art History; Art Foundations; Drawing and Printmaking: Studio Art AP 2D Design; Studio Art AP Drawing
Art and Design Department Coordinator
National Art Honor Society Advisor

I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Arts in Art Education with PK-21 licensure in Art Education from the University of Cincinnati DAAP program. In 2015 I earned my Master of Education in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from the University of Cincinnati CECH program. My teaching experiences have been widely varied, including working with students ranging in ages from 5-18, private and public institutions, and both inner-city and suburban schools. I have taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Public Schools, Fitton Center for Creative Arts, ArtWorks and have been an Art Teacher at Oak Hills High School since 2005, where I also serve as the Art and Design Department Coordinator.

When I’m not teaching, I create my own artwork. I’ve participated in the creation of many public artworks throughout the city of Cincinnati with ArtWorks which included several murals and pigs for the Big Pig Gig. I love Art History and travel and have been privileged to be able to visit many of the sites I teach about in my classes with my students, such as: Machu Picchu in Peru, Versailles in Paris, the Alhambra in Spain, and a multitude of sites from the Ancient and Renaissance worlds of Italy and Greece!

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