Distinguished Highlanders

Penny Samborsky Ferguson - staff

Penny Ferguson is a first-grade teacher at C.O. Harrison Elementary School. She began her journey in the Oak Hills school system as a student herself at C.O. Harrison then attended Delhi Jr. High and graduated from Oak Hills High School in 1995.

Penny’s dedication to Oak Hills began in her early years when she was a student at Oak Hills High School. She served as class vice president of Student Council. She was also on a team led by Mr. Jim Williamson, to research after-prom activities. Penny and her fellow students created the first After Prom that Oak Hills High School sponsored. This program is still running to this day allowing students the same unique experience. She played soccer throughout high school for Mr. Chuck Laumann which then led to a college soccer scholarship at The University of Saint Francis. After graduating from Saint Francis, she knew she wanted to return to Cincinnati and teach in the Oak Hills School District. 

Penny’s elementary principal, Mr. Mark Koerner, offered her a job teaching at C.O. Harrison in 1999. She was so thrilled to have the opportunity to teach in the very place that laid the foundation for her career. She learned as a student to adapt when learning was difficult and to never give up. Learning did not always come easy for her as a young student. One special teacher, Ms. Genie Hoke, modeled how to make a student feel success and not failure, a message Penny demonstrates to this day.   

Currently, Penny is a committee leader and member of the C.O. Harrison PTA where she started a running club that allowed the students from C.O. Harrison to take part in the Flying Pig Kids’ Marathon in downtown Cincinnati, member and building representative for the Teacher’s Union, and an active member at Bridgetown Christian Church where she helped lead a “Speak Up and Be Safe” workshop for elementary students. Her love for her students in and outside the classroom is never ending.

Penny has been married to Brady for 19 years. He, too, is a westsider, so they for sure will not be leaving anytime soon.  They have three wonderful Highlanders/children, Wyatt (14), Mitchell (11) and Molly (7) who are all attending Oak Hills schools. She has been able to walk into C.O. Harrison everyday for the past eight years with one or more of her own children by her side. She would not want her children to be anywhere other than C.O. Harrison. Penny was raised by Gene and Becky Samborsky and has three siblings Amy, Pete and Tiffany. Their parents led by example and helped them develop into Godly, loving and hard-working adults.   

With Penny’s faith and dedication to her church, family, friends, students and school she continues to make a difference in many lives. She wakes up with an attitude of, how can I help someone today and how can I be better today than I was yesterday.  She is humble and believes that what she does is the norm and simply expected. Penny is thankful for the opportunity to serve the students of the Oak Hills School District, the very same system that molded her into the dedicated person she is today.

Click here to see Penny's video.

Penny Ferguson