Working to Create a Community School Experience in Abingdon, VA

Mark Finney (right) pictured here with former CS classmate and current Community High School Director, Josh Chapman (left).

Alumni in Focus – September 2018

Dr. Mark Finney

Mark Finney (Seminar class of 1991) is an associate professor of Mass Communications at Emory & Henry College. His research focuses on understanding international conflict and the relationship between conflict and media.

His teaching philosophy reflects his experience at Community School. He describes his approach as interdisciplinary, interactive, inclusive, and emphasizing active learning and student engagement.

At our Founders’ Day event in September 2018, Mark observed, “When I think about the things that are important to me, my approach to learning and to being a contributing member of this world, much of that comes back to things that I learned here.”

Compared to his CS education, Mark and his wife were disappointed in their daughter’s school experience. “Fortunately, thanks to Community School, I learned at an early age that there is often more than one way to solve a problem.  So, we joined with a group of other concerned parents and made ourselves a new school, called the Wolf Hills Community School, and asked if we could visit Community School and see how the pros do it… I’m pleased to report that our Wolf Hills Community School has that same feel, both for me and for Annabelle, who, like her dad many years ago, laments not going to school during the summer and says she has a great time at school almost every day.”

Mark holds a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a M.S. in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University.

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