Beloved Ms. 'Finny' Leaves Teaching to Pursue New Goals

Haley Meyerdirk

After ten years of being a missionary teacher, and sixteen years of teaching math, beloved teacher Laura Lee Finstrom has completed her last year at ICSB to follow God’s plans for her. However, before talking about her future, we first should learn how she got here.

Ever since she was a young child, Ms. Finstrom desired to be a missionary. In only first or second grade, when missionaries visited her childhood church, she recognized the strength of their faith. “I realized at that young of an age, that missionaries were passionate about Jesus and everybody sitting in the congregation was like dead. And I was that young and I thought, ‘if I have to choose which one to be, I want to be a missionary because I want to be passionate about Jesus.’”

As she grew older, this desire did not waver. However, in seventh grade she was placed in an honors math class. Realizing her personal skill in math, an eagerness to work with numbers grew in her mind. She fought with herself, trying to decide between mathematics and missions. Finally, at the age of twenty, she felt the Lord telling her to be a missionary teacher. This allowed her to follow both passions.

Ms. Finstrom earned her math degree, but then it took her many years to pay off school debts and become finically stable. Following several years of school and work, Ms. Finstrom finally felt ready to travel. She began sending emails to schools around the world, and to her surprise, she received overwhelming answers. After sifting through all the options, she landed on ICSB. After that decision, she’s been teaching in Hungary since 2012. But what plans does she hold as she looks to the future?

Ms. Finny celebrates a successful performance of Singin' in the Rain with the high-school cast and crew of the 22' spring musical.

As she closed her years in schooling, Ms. Finstrom—affectionally called “Finny” by her students—prepared to move back to her home in Minnesota. There, on American soil, she will finish her schooling in psychology and follow wherever God calls her.

This news often leads many to think, what led a math teacher to the field of psychology? The short answer: God. But Finny explained exactly what happened. Back in 2017, after a switching of jobs and positions with TeachBeyond and MemberCare, Finny was invited to a conference where the attendees’ mental health was the main focus. The conference planners  wanted to “pour into” every attendee. Going into the conference excited, as soon as she learned of the counseling, she quickly became stubborn. But after eight hours of free counseling, Ms. Finstrom came out changed. After that, she sensed God calling her toward helping others in the area of mental health. She felt God telling her, “You are a people helper; I’ve made you a people helper.” Since then, she’s been taking graduate courses in psychology. Needing to finish her final years of schooling in America, Finny closed her last year of teaching at ICSB.

What does the future hold for her in this? Filled with uncertainty, Ms. Finstrom plans on finishing her schooling and pursuing an internship in Minnesota with “a place that will take me.” This could lead her across America, and maybe even the world. Yet, all she knows is that she will follow God’s plan to the end.

Ms. Finstrom takes a picture with the 21'-22' second period geometry class, one of the final classes she taught.