The start of the 2018-19 school-calendar year marks the beginning of another promising year at RCLS, but it also marks the end of an era at our beloved school––one that has been shaped rather significantly by the 40-year ministry of Mrs. Ramona Finley, RCLS’s faithful Administrative Assistant. For four decades––4 decades!––Mrs. Finley has been the hub of records, communications, finances, and administrative support for the school. Even more, she has been at the front line of care and nurturing for generations of students. On this, her last day of 40 years of service to the school, Mrs. Finley reflected on her remarkable career.
Forty years ago, I was happily employed as an Administrative Assistant at Mayo Clinic. It was a job that I loved, but the hours were demanding and were not as family-friendly as I wanted them to be. I was a mother of two young children, but my job demanded that I be able to attend to the needs of an executive––sometimes in the evenings and on Saturdays––so I needed to consider another employment option. Even so, when RCLS’s principal, Mr. Dale Orlowski, offered me the position as the school’s Administrative Assistant in 1978, I hesitated. In response to my hesitation, Mr. Orlowski wisely counseled me to find a quiet place and ask God what His plan was for me. In other words, he wanted me to pray and listen to the Lord’s leading. It turns out, God is a powerful persuader, for I took the job, in spite of my hesitations, and, well, I guess this is where I say that the rest is history!
My history with RCLS actually begins well before my employment here. Many do not realize that I attended RCLS as a student from grades 1-8. It was known as Trinity Lutheran School then and was housed in a building downtown that no longer exists. My parents felt strongly that their five children should have all the benefits of a parochial education, and when my husband and I decided where to enroll our children, we wanted the same for them that my parents gave me. Over the years, I hope I have been able to express my total support of the benefits of giving a child not only all the best academically but also of surrounding a child with a strong faith family. What a wonderful “extra!”
RCLS has gone through so many changes in my 40 years here. Yes, building updates. Yes, curriculum changes and technology advances. Yes, always seeking the very best to educate and nurture the students. Yes, being blessed with dedicated pastors, board of directors, and so on. But one thing I have always witnessed is that in all the ups and downs this institution has gone through, no one ever lost faith in God. We have always believed that God had a plan, and all would go as He felt it should. All we had to do was have faith in Him to know what was best.
I have watched RCLS grow from a student body of 174 to 315. Not only have the students made RCLS a wonderful place, so have their dedicated parents/guardians who have determined to provide their child(ren) with a Christ-centered education. It gives me such pleasure to have a student I saw enter Kindergarten (or ECDC) years ago return to enroll their own child(ren) into RCLS. When I have asked these young parents why they have returned, their response is always that they couldn’t imagine sending their children anywhere else. They, like I and so many others, have wanted to totally surround their children with the caring, loving, and strong faith community of RCLS. What an immeasurable blessing this is to children!
At the close of the 2017-18 school year, I completed 40 years with RCLS. I have had the privilege of working with nine principals, many talented teachers and support staff, and thousands of school children. I once was asked,"Didn’t you get bored?" In truth, I answer, “Absolutely not!” Every administrator brought a new vision for RCLS, and I have always been challenged to help realize that vision. It has been my great privilege to be a part of the mission of this school.
As I enter what many have called the “next adventure,” I will miss all that is RCLS. However, I plan to stay involved as time and opportunity allow me. My husband of 47 years and I hope to do some of the things on our bucket list as well as enjoy all those special moments with our children, grandchildren, and extended family. I know that God will continue to guide and bless RCLS in many ways, and I hope to continue as His RCLS cheerleader.
Mrs. Finley is RCLS’s cheerleader, indeed, and a faithful steward for Christ and His kingdom. Mrs. Finley, you are a treasure. RCLS loves you and will miss you.
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6: 24-26