The UCAP School Appoints
Dr. Michael Finley Director:

The Second Director in School’s 30-Year History

June 5, 2019 (Providence RI) The UCAP Board of Directors has appointed Dr. Michael Finley as Director of The UCAP School in Providence, RI. The second director in the school’s 30-year history, Dr. Finley brings a depth of knowledge in educational best practices and hands-on experience in urban education that will help guide UCAP’s future. Beginning his career as a teacher in 2005 at Adamson Middle School, Rex, Georgia, Dr. Finley went on to earn the Teacher of the Year Award and serve as the school’s interim assistant principal. In 2012, he was appointed assistant principal of Lovejoy Middle School, Lovejoy, GA, and has served as the principal of Thelma Ellis Dickerson Elementary: Jumoke Academy, Hartford, CT since 2014. Dr. Finley will join UCAP on June 17, 2019, taking the reins from UCAP Founder and Director, Robert DeBlois, who will retire at the end of the 2019 school year.

Dr. Finley earned a B.S. in Education from Georgia State University; an M.A. in Instructional Technology from Central Michigan University; an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership from Cambridge College; and an Ed.D. in Educational Administration from Georgia Southern University. In addition, he obtained Superintendent Certification from the Executive Leadership Superintendent Program, University of Connecticut.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Finley assume leadership of The UCAP School at such an important time in our history. Dr. Finley’s experience in leading schools to improve student achievement and align the school’s curriculum and assessment will ensure that UCAP continues to use innovative, best practice approaches in designing the school’s curriculum, which helps students at risk be successful in high school and beyond,” stated Jeannine Nota-Masse, Superintendent of the Cranston School Department and President of the UCAP Board of Directors.

“First and foremost, I have a deep passion for adequately preparing and teaching the whole child to be successful in this ever-changing world. In addition, I have a love for helping students connect the dots while they navigate their educational journey. It is imperative and our responsibility to ensure that we work diligently to create the best conditions for students to learn and develop academically, socially and emotionally. It is a breathtaking experience when you actually witness a student turn the corner and experience success; that is what makes my heart beat a little harder,” expressed Finley. When asked about taking the helm following 30 years of a single leader, Dr. Finley replied, “I give a lot of praise to Rob DeBlois, he’s done a phenomenal job. My goal is to come in and try to enhance the great work that he has already done. I understand that this is a major change. My first focus will be building positive relationships and having conversations with the students, the teachers, the office staff, the counselors, the custodians, the parents and community stakeholders. You can’t do this work alone; this has to be a collaborative approach.”

“On behalf of the Fund Board, I welcome Dr. Finley. We value his commitment to students’ academic and emotional growth, and are eager to work alongside him as he continues UCAP’s proven approach to success for students who face tremendous socio-economic challenges,” said Gib Conover, Chair of The Fund for UCAP that supports Beyond U and other enhancements to The UCAP School.

Founded in 1989, The UCAP School intervenes in the lives of adolescents in urban schools who are having serious difficulty and are at risk of dropping out of school in the Providence, Cranston and Central Falls school districts. UCAP seeks to help each student obtain the academic and social skills necessary for the success in high school and in life. A crucial part of UCAP’s success is its Beyond U program, which provides students with essential academic, physical, and cultural enrichment experiences after school, on the weekends, during vacations, and throughout the summer.

Andrea Joseph          
Interim Director of Development
The UCAP School