By Patty Rice Groth
She’s a small-town girl, raised on a dairy farm in Rosewood, Ohio. Joylyn Finch left the farm to attend Bowling Green State University where she earned a Bachelor of Business Education degree. Her first teaching job was in the Upper Scioto Valley School District in Alger. She taught accounting, typing, and business law. Another of Finch’s other love – coaching student athletes – started there. She coached varsity volleyball and junior varsity basketball while pursuing her Masters degree in School Guidance, with certification for grades kindergarten to 12, from the University of Dayton.
The summer she graduated with her masters from the University of Dayton, withjust two weeks until school started, Finch accepted a position with the Galion City School District as the guidance counselor at the Middle School. In those two weeks, she managed to relocate her home and her career! Settled in Galion, she also took on coaching responsibilities with the seventh grade volleyball team.
At the end of the 2013-2014 school year, Finch is retiring from academic life.
The implementation of current technologies in Galion schools has made her job simpler, at least when it comes to the paperwork involved. Being able to pack up and take her laptop computer home is a luxury not all careers enjoy. Finch brags that Galion students can be ahead of the curve academically due to the One to One Technology grants. However, technology does bring problems too.
“Students have not changed,” she says, “What they have to deal with has.”
Finch advises most of the time she spends counseling middle school adolescent and young teen students involves social media. Social media, she explains, means peer pressure never stops. Today’s youngsters never get a break – unless they turn off their devices, something they are reluctant to do.
She and her husband Lindsay make their home here in Galion, where they attend St. Paul United Methodist Church. Daughter Elaine is a freshman at Wright State University, looking a career options as an occupational therapist. Son John is a Galion High School junior enrolled in the College Now program at Pioneer Career Technology Center/North Central State College.
Finch is now ready to file away her sheepskins and enjoy having a daughter in a college not so far away and a son preparing for high school graduation. An avid scrap booker, assembling John’s school memories will be just one of the “me time” activities she plans to focus on in her retirement.
In addition to her other current leisure-time activities, including cross-stitch and reading, Finch is looking forward to learning to quilt, and to can the vegetables she grows. Finch is optimistic she will have the plentiful harvest to support her interest in learning to can because she will have more time to take care of her garden!
The Finches plan to travel “as much as possible” as part of their enjoyment of Joylyn’s retirement. A trip to a favorite destination, St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, is definitely on for this summer.
Reflecting on her career, Finch admits she will miss interacting with Galion’s students and her colleagues. Camaraderie among staff members at Galion Middle School is strong, and she will be happy to maintain those relationships in her life.