FSSA Principal Ms. Finn is Retiring
On June 28th, 2017 the senior class will be accompanied by one more unexpected graduate: Ms. Finn. Frank Sinatra School of the Arts’ (FSSA) principal will be retiring after 25 years of being an educator, and after 12 years of helping the school grow and remain a unique place for talented students to expand their art form.
Starting off as assistant principal in 2001 at FSSA, Ms. Finn worked her way up and watched the school start from nothing, however she said she didn’t always wish to be a school principal.
“I never woke up one day and said: ‘I want to be a principal,’” said Ms. Finn. She started her career off as an art teacher, but soon found she needed to expand, leading to her decision to become an administrator.
“I was very content with being an assistant principal, so when my predecessor announced his retirement, I was really upset, and I wasn’t even expecting to become principal,” said Ms. Finn. He pushed her to become principal, which turned into what she would devote all her time to for the following 12 years.
Being a principal at an artistic school like FSSA was something she never imagined would happen. She said that she never thought she would be able to be a part of something as big as Tony Bennett’s dream.
“It’s been enormously gratifying and I could not imagine that I could’ve worked or served as an educator or administrator at any other school where I could’ve gotten so much satisfaction,” she said.
Her happiest memory at FSSA was the day the new building in Astoria was opened. Tony and Susan Bennett, Quincy Jones and Nancy Sinatra were some of the people she remembered being there. That day at the podium, Nancy Sinatra said that her father told her that one thing he would’ve liked to do in life was teach.
“That day was really magical and all the struggle to shape our community and move it to its official destination was all coming together. It was a pivotal moment,” she said.
Ms. Finn has truly been involved at FSSA and has continuously pushed to support the arts with every event at the school. Not only has it been a gratifying experience for her, but also one with many unique moments that not many other principals have experienced.
Paul McCartney’s FSSA performance in 2013 was a very special moment for her, because she said that he was her favorite Beatle when she was younger. To have him say hello to her and thank her for being there was something she could not have experienced at another high school.
Ms. Finn has been at FSSA from the start: From when the whole school fit into a hallway in Long Island City to when floor plans were being made to accommodate the variety of art forms and academic classes available. So, as she leaves FSSA and goes off to travel and pursue her own art, along with dabbling in the other art forms, one wonders what lays ahead for the school.
While she is grateful to have been principal, every student and faculty member is even more grateful to have had her guide them. She will truly be missed after 12 years of devoting her life to helping everyone thrive.
FSSA will think of her whenever they hear the words dedicated, innovative and caring. May she always think of FSSA when she hears a couple of teenagers being too loud, the sound of music, the pitter patter of ballet feet, a paint brush against canvas and someone yelling “ACTION!”
– by Ana Radonjic ‘17