Christina Kopp and Jenifer Thoem are joining the Darlington Community as art teachers for students in grades pre-K to 8.
Christina Kopp will serve as full time art teacher for students in second through eighth grades. She has experience in elementary, middle, and high school art classrooms where she has assisted students of all skill levels and needs, most recently at Rome High School.
“We are excited to have Christina join our fine arts team and the faculty at Thatcher Hall and Darlington,” said Kim Tunnell, director of fine arts. “She has already connected with many of the students and it is evident that she is passionate about teaching students and helping them grow as artists. Her educational goals are centered around encouraging students to take ownership of their learning and mastering problem-solving skills through art exploration and collaboration. ”
A recent graduate of Berry College, Kopp holds a B.A in Art Education.
“The culture at Darlington and the arts program really excites me. I love that Darlington will allow me to share my passion for art and personal values, such as serving others, with the students,” Kopp said. “I am excited to help students explore their creativity and to connect to the amazing and beautiful world around them with art!
In addition to teaching art, Kopp is also coaching JV volleyball. She and her husband Derek live on campus.
“My four years of playing at Berry taught me what teamwork, friendship, accountability, and discipline looks like in real life, not just volleyball,” she said. “I love coaching young women not just in the game, but also in these values. I am excited to join with those in the volleyball program as well as the athletic department to help kids not only become exceptional athletes, but exceptional people.”
Jenifer Thoem will be serving as part time art teacher for students in pre-K to first grade and in grades 6-8. She has 25 years of teaching experience as a studio art teacher, helping students develop artistic skills and an appreciation for art through collaboration, connection and real world application.
“Jenifer brings a wealth of experience to the art classroom having taught in many different art educational settings and sharing her experience as a professional sculptor and artist,” Tunnell said. “I look forward to seeing how she exposes students to multiple art mediums and helps them develop essential skills that provide connections and relevance to other things happening in their world.”
Thoem holds a B.F.A in Ceramics from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. She is a ceramic artist working in large scale wall installations. She has traveled across the country participating in some of the top Fine Arts festivals in the nation for the past 24 years.
Thoem has been serving Darlington since 2017 as visiting artist and substitute teacher. She recently worked with Darlington fifth-graders on an installation that connected to a book they were reading and she has been a substitute for multiple classes at Thatcher over the last two years.
"It’s exciting for me to be blending my career as a professional artist with that of teaching art,” she said. “I have taught in art studios and classrooms across the country for over 2 decades, and can truly appreciate the respect and support that the students, faculty and parents give here at Darlington."
A native of Rome, Thoem moved back two years ago after living in Richmond, Virginia and Chicago, Illinois for the past 19 years. She and her husband Kevin, have three children: Morgan (freshman at Berry), Maggie (sophomore at Rome High) and Ethan (seventh-grader at Darlington).