VillaVoice_Summer_2020 FINAL | Page 23

FACULTY NOTES Faculty Notes St. Ursula Villa Bids Farewell to Retirees “I have always viewed working with St. Ursula Villa students as a privilege and will miss it tremendously.” MS. KATHY FINKBEINER In addition to Principal Polly Duplace, two valued members of the St. Ursula Villa community conclude their service to the school. Ms. Kathy Finkbeiner and Ms. Maripat Price begin their new retirement chapters and leave the Villa this year. Ms. Kathy Finkbeiner joined St. Ursula Villa in 1973 as a fourth-grade teacher. She paused her teaching career for the birth of her daughter, Brielle, and rejoined the Villa faculty as a fifth-grade teacher in 1978. Ms. Finkbeiner shared fifth grade instruction with Ms. Nancy Moormann for several years and moved to third grade in 1992 where she spent the remaining 28 years of her illustrious career. She reflects, “I have loved teaching at St. Ursula Villa. Our students are highly motivated, bright, curious, and actively supported by their families. I cherish the many ‘second generation’ students whose parents I also taught over the years. It has been fun for me to have these families come back to the Villa. I see how well t hey are doing and know they had the faith and legacy that comes with choosing St. Ursula Villa for their children’s education.” Ms. Finkbeiner’s rich trove of memories includes long-gone campus landmarks such as a “school cookout on the back patio and swimming in the pool” - now the site of Villa Way. She fondly remembers the Ursuline Sisters who taught in classrooms and served as principals over the years, as well as the school’s shift to lay administration. “I have always felt the school leadership were very good, supportive, wonderful advocates for the students and their experience here.” Serving on the Master Plan Steering Committee, Ms. Finkbeiner provided a teacher’s perspective on the campus reorganization and building plans, ensuring proposed expansions would provide critically needed space while enhancing classroom instruction and student learning. She recalls long committee discussions, saying “There was such a feeling of lack of space in the Main School and converting six classrooms into four has given us so much room and space, and is so well done” and “it is wonderful to see the Manor House, now so big, bright, and airy, just what you would hope for as our little ones’ environment.” Current and former St. Ursula Villa students and families, Villa teachers past and present, family friends, and many others celebrated Ms. Finkbeiner’s remarkable career with a “drive-by parade” past her home. “It was such a fun and wonderful parade and I am so grateful to Villa parents Courtney Hass and Annie (Bolan) Wittekind (Villa Class of ‘90) for coordinating and making it possible!” Ms. Finkbeiner plans to take adult education classes, travel, spend more time with friends and family, and finally attend “Grandparents’ Day” at her grandchildren’s schools. She summarizes her remarkable Villa career, “I have always viewed working with St. Ursula Villa students as a privilege and will miss it tremendously.” Ms. Maripat Price joined St. Ursula Villa as Development Assistant in 2009 and served in that role for almost 10 years, leaving the Villa in December 2019. As part of St. Ursula Villa’s Development/Advancement team, Ms. Price supported the department’s various functions and activities in many ways. She worked with Donor Perfect and other systems to update constituent addresses and information as well as to ensure tracking and acknowledgement of donors which involved ongoing interaction with parents, alumni, and grandparents. In addition to those tasks, Ms. Price applied her considerable artistic talents to many other areas including seasonally-themed wreaths and Villabration decorations and centerpieces. Most notably, Ms. Price created holiday magic in the Manor House with her whimsical Christmas trees in the lobby and lovely decorations on bannisters, mantels, and special places throughout the building. She recalls, “I loved hearing the excitement in the children’s voices when they walked into school after Thanksgiving Break and saw the Christmas tree for the first time! It was a real joy for me!” Ms. Price describes her St. Ursula Villa career as “very special and rewarding” and misses the Villa’s extraordinary sense of community and unique history. In her retirement, Ms. Price has refocused her time and energy on designing three-dimensional pop-up creations she refers to as “paper sculptures” as well as caring for her mother and visiting her grandchildren. 22