PS/MS 129 John H. Finley
425 W 130th St. NY,NY

Odelphia Pierre


John H. Finley  

Excellence without Excuses


"I believe the teachers at P.S. 129 to have made a true impact on my life. I attended PS 129 for almost the entirety of my grade school career, only missing the 3rd grade. (Kindergarten-6th grade)
I was a fun loving kid with a passion for sports and reading. Some even said I read too much. One of my teachers told my mother during a parent teacher conference, “I’ve never said this about any other kid in my life, but I think he reads too much. I’m glad he enjoys reading but he reads even when I’m teaching other lessons like math. “  He would allow for me to go to the library after a while during certain topics because he knew to keep my interest he had to let me go forward to the level I was taking myself. This had a huge impact allowing me to go to college in Kansas on an athletic scholarship and then attend law school as well as business school at the University of Kansas and obtaining my Juris Doctorate and my MBA concurrently.
As a professor and sports lawyer myself now, I realize the impact that PS 129 had on me. I had a number of teachers who not only took an interest in my academics but my sports career as well. Many would have me come to the front of the class to share my stories when I would come in on Monday morning talking about a race I won with my track team, the Harlem Striders.
When many put people down, or just remain silent, I was lucky enough to have teachers who motivated me, urged me to go forward, and cheered on my successes as if they were related to me. They were stakeholders in my future with a vested interest in my success.
I believe this to be the foundation, the cornerstones of my education. With a strong foundation as my base in education it allowed me to go on further, even when the road became kind of rocky for a while. I was able to rely upon the basics of being a good person and striving not just surviving to carry me forward. I am FOREVER grateful for the teachers and administrators at John H. Finley for providing that to me."

Preston (Gary) James IV