Mary Ann & Rory Finlay (2014)

North Shore's commitment to community and to family has always been vital to the School’s essence. The Finlay family, in many ways, defines that essence. As a family, their thoughtful involvement and level of engagement at North Shore has been exemplary.
They contribute meaningfully and add value. They lead, they follow, they complement, they support. Mary Ann and Rory seem to implicitly understand the range of elements that make "good education" and then always act in a way that advances the agenda for all—students, teachers, parents and alumni. Their three children — Sarah '05, Emily '07 and Will '10 — are wonderful contributors and leaders as well — all have the thumbprint of a Finlay. The Finlays share their unique talents in music, drama, athletics, service and academics, which serve as a community example.

Mary Ann and Rory have "lived and served" North Shore through their combined service on the Board of Trustees, Benefit Board (formerly Woman’s Board) and Parents’ Association. They are each bright and aware, and offer energy and commitment, contributing significantly in all areas of involvement. Together, they touch every base, adding value, connecting with others and raising the level of discourse.

Mary Ann — as a leader with vision and awareness — served as President of the Parents’ Association, President of the Benefit Board, Co-Chair of the Auction, Parent Grade Chair and Lower School Steering Chair. Stepping up each time came naturally to Mary Ann, seeing the need and responding to the call. Her guidance, example and leadership inspired fellow parents to actively engage in volunteerism for the School, which is critically central to the vibrancy of North Shore. She supported and encouraged volunteers and Board members, all with confidence that the job would get done, knowing the School and/or students would be advanced.

Rory's career experience spans the world and his knowledge and expertise in global marketing, brand identity and sales raised the level of strategic focus and helped the School to articulate its strengths and distinctiveness. He is a creative problem-solver and facilitator. During the Upper School construction project, as the dialogue with our neighbors became increasingly complex, Rory was tapped to facilitate. With remarkable skill and awareness, he was able to connect, engage, listen and respond with a presence and leadership that led to an ultimate solution that served both our neighbors and the School. Amazingly, his intuition and kindness helped make good neighbors of all.

As good communicators and listeners, Mary Ann and Rory have supported the School as active volunteers and financial supporters of Annual Giving, Capital Campaigns, Auctions and events; served alongside fellow parents at Phonathons; attended and engaged in school and alumni events; and have opened their home to welcome international students.

Simply put, when there's a need, the Finlays are there . . . however broadly defined or idiosyncratic. They are role models to all, friends to many, and will always be members of our North Shore family.

Presented to Mary Ann and Rory Finlay by Head of School Tom Doar III October 22, 2014
North Shore Country Day School is a junior kindergarten through 12th grade, college-preparatory school founded in Winnetka, Illinois in 1919.  With rigorous academic pursuit as the cornerstone, North Shore provides many opportunities for all students to excel – in the classroom and the laboratory, on the stage and the playing field, in their communities and beyond.