Honoring our Namesake
Reddy Finney had a profound belief that we all have something special in our makeup, something that sometimes needs to be cultivated, supported, prodded, loved. He was always there to help each individual achieve his/her greatness.
Reddy inspires both the name and the spirit of our company. He served as Gilman Headmaster for 23 years. He was a three-sport athlete at Princeton and Gilman School (Baltimore, MD) graduate. His approach, his skill and his passion have touched each of our lives at Finney Search Group and driven us to cultivate other teacher-coaches in his likeness, for the good of students and schools everywhere.
At Reddy's passing, Finney Search Group Co-Founder Sherm Bristow eloquently stated: "What made this man so special? How did white middle class [Maryland] families from Parkville, Arbutus, Little Italy, Timonium and elsewhere in the mid 1960’s give their most prized possessions to this man, when the school was not filled with middle class kids? How did African American families from East and West Baltimore during this same era of social unrest entrust their children to this man, when the school had no African American students, none? How did Jewish and Arab families, families from South Korea, Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan and other exotic lands entrust their children to this man and school?
There are many answers, but fundamentally they trusted him; he connected with them. They believed in him because they knew he truly believed in them and their children, and that he would protect and embrace them."
For those reasons, among many others, we named our firm The Finney Search Group, and even though we now speak of Mr. Finney in the past tense, we attempt to perpetuate his legacy through our work.
Making a Difference Inside
and Outside the Classroom
Superior teacher-coach/mentors often form the single-most important influence on a young person’s life in the formative years, aside from their parents. It is this dual function in the school community that allows teacher-coach/mentors to inspire and connect with students.
Teacher-coach/mentors are priceless assets to children as they develop academic, athletic, and personal strengths. Athletes and non-athletes alike thrive in a classroom where the teacher is also a coach. They see an adult setting a vivid example of multi-dimensional commitment to life endeavors.
Coaches who are also teachers view winning less as a primary mission than as a by-product of all that goes into it: practice, commitment, teamwork, personal responsibility, time management, risk-taking and integrity. The athletic field is another classroom where lessons are experienced on an emotional as well as intellectual level.
Despite the powerful rewards of this paradigm, schools are hiring fewer young, teacher-coach role models than ever. The college admissions trend is veering away from “the well-rounded student”. An unintended consequence of this shift is a shortage of well-rounded teachers in secondary schools.
Our Finney Search Group Co-Founder/Partner, Bo Dixon, believes the Teacher-Coach Model "is one of the crown jewels of independent education” and has seen countless students and faculty thrive within this framework. The Finney Search Group exists to uphold what we know to be an invaluable aspect of the independent school experience.