Alumni Spotlight

Riviera Schools Newsletter

Featuring Meagan Finlay

View Article on Riviera Schools website.

Alumna Meagan Finlay has always had a love of animals.  It's no wonder that at 17, she has already made a name for herself in dog competition circles around the country.  This award-winning trainer has been honing her skills for many years.  Meagan shares her hobby with brother and Riviera alum Tommy, also an award winning trainer.  Their parents are very supportive of everything they do.  "We do everything together and have a great time." says Meagan. 

Meagan first became involved in the Purina Incredible Dog Challenges when she was 12 years old. She says, "When I first competed in the 60-weave pole race, Pistol, my Border Collie, completed them without any previous training. Needless to say, we were all shocked!"  In the 2008 PIDC competitions they won first prize at the Eastern Regional competition, and earned a place at the Nationals in St. Louis, Missouri.  "Our hard work paid off.  At Nationals, we placed second," recalls Meagan.   Success carried on with the dynamic team winning first at the Eastern Regionals in 2009, and third place at the Nationals.

This very talented alumna attended Riviera Schools from the 4th to the 8th grade.  Mrs. Barbara Roland, Meagan's 5th grade teacher, remembers, "Meagan was shy and quiet in class, but when she was in front of an audience, she sang like a bird. Her eyes lit up when she spoke about her dogs and the agility shows. She was a very good student and always did her work." 

One of Meagan's fondest memories of Riviera is of Mr. Garcia's history classes.  Finlay says, "I will never forget 'homework checks' in which we had to answer three questions on the previous night's reading assignment.  It was always so nerve-wracking because we never knew who was going to get called on!"

Meagan attends Gulliver Preparatory School and has had a great high school experience. She is president of the Japanese and Vocal Ensemble clubs. What's next for this ambitious and successful young woman?  Meagan is in the process of applying  to colleges and plans on double majoring in Japanese and history.  "Even though I am going off to college soon, I hope I will be able to continue training dogs as a hobby," she says.

We wish Meagan Finlay the best of luck in her future endeavors!

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