skip to main content
Jim  Finch

      Email Icon  Email


A Message from the Principal

Jim Finch, Principal


It is my pleasure to welcome you to Mary Persons High School. The goal for Mary Persons High School is simple: graduate students on time with the skills they need to be successful. Graduates of Mary Persons will be known as high achievers and positive contributing members of society. Our dedicated faculty works hard to demonstrate exceptional teaching reflective of the best practices found in education. We also strive to provide extra help opportunities for students who are struggling as well as for students who wish to be challenged at higher levels. We believe the teacher-student relationship is a critical piece to student achievement. All teachers are expected to know their students’ strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles.

You have entrusted Mary Persons High School with your child’s education and future. We are dedicated to providing them with the best possible learning experience in a safe and comfortable environment. Today, teachers are working harder than ever to ensure that students learn. But teachers cannot do their jobs effectively without the support of parents. I would like to encourage parents to get involved at Mary Persons. It is a myth that older students don’t need their parents as much as younger students. All students need parental support and so do all schools.

Our teachers and counseling department are working diligently this year to increase communication and outreach with parents. Developing open communication and positive relationships between teachers, administrators, students, and parents is a priority at Mary Persons. I ask that you give us 48 hours to respond.

For information on what is happening at MPHS or how to get involved, check the parent section of our website or “like” us on Facebook or "follow" on Twitter (@MaryPersonsHigh). If you have any questions or suggestions on how we can improve our website, please contact our media specialist, Ms. Lauri English, at


Principal's Profile 

Jim Finch is in his 12th year as the principal at Mary Persons High School and has been in education for 25 years. Dr. Finch received his Bachelor of Science in Education from Georgia Southern University in 1994 and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Georgia College and State University in 2001. Dr. Finch received his doctorate from Valdosta State University in 2015.

Dr. Finch began his teaching career in 1994 as a math teacher and coach at Peach County High School in Fort Valley, GA. While at Peach County, Dr. Finch taught math for ten years and served as the math department chair for the last five of those. He served as assistant principal during his last two years at Peach County High. In addition to his instructional and supervisory duties, Dr. Finch coached football, basketball, baseball, tennis, and golf during his 12 years in Fort Valley. Dr. Finch coached in the 1998, 2003, and 2005 AAA state championship football games, serving as defensive coordinator in the latter two games and winning the AAA state championship in 2005. At the conclusion of the 2005-2006 school year, Dr. Finch made the transition to principal.

Dr. Finch is a member of Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE), the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL), and the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals (GASSP).  He is a member of the PAGE Principal Leadership Network and serves as the AAAA representative for the Georgia High School Association’s (GHSA) Board of Trustees.

Dr. Finch sits on the state Board of Directors for the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL) as well as on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals (GASSP). Dr. Finch is the GASSP President-elect for the 2018-2019 school year. Previously, Dr. Finch served as State Coordinator for GASSP and the state of Georgia’s advocacy delegate to NASSP during the 2014-2017 school years. He has served as a lecturer and guest presenter for local RESA’s as well as the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders.

Dr. Finch’s wife, Kelli, is a real estate agent in the middle Georgia area. They have four children – Kennedy, a 2018 graduate of Mary Persons and freshman at Georgia Southern University, Jimbo, a junior at Mary Persons, Carli, a 2nd grader at TG Scott, and Max, a kindergarten student at TG Scott.