Educator Alice Finlayson (1902 – 2000) worked in the D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) and implemented programs for improving student outcomes that inspired district-wide changes. During her thirty-seven-year tenure, she taught first-grade and served as a principal while simultaneously earning a BA and a MA from Howard University. After she resigned from DCPS in 1959, she worked at Morgan State University and Howard University. Her involvement with various community organizations and committees—including the Community Coordinating Organization, the Women’s Civic Guild, and the NAACP—enabled Finlayson to leave a lasting mark on her community. In her own words, “Anacostia was like a village.”
In 1977, the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum’s Board of Directors voted to include Finlayson’s portrait in “Phil Ratner’s Washington,” an exhibition honoring current and former Anacostia residents who contributed to the civic life of the community.