November 2020 Alumni Spotlights: Amber Finley (New Albany HS ’02) and Rick Miller (Georgetown HS ’65)

November 2020 Alumni Spotlights: Amber Finley (New Albany HS ’02) and Rick Miller (Georgetown HS ’65)

We’re looking back at our 3rd edition of the Legacy Ledger and two incredible alumni who’ve left an indelible mark on our community.

🔸 Amber Finley (NAHS 2002): Youngest inductee into the NAHS Hall of Fame, distinguished attorney, and active community volunteer. From working with the Indiana Attorney General to making waves at Eli Lilly, Amber continues her family’s legacy of justice and equality!

🔹 Rick Miller (Georgetown HS 1965 & Floyd Central faculty 1973-2016): Legendary tennis coach and inspirational figure. Despite facing a life-changing spinal injury, Rick led his team to victory, embodying sportsmanship and perseverance. Rick’s legacy continues to inspire us all.
Read their full stories and get inspired.

Excerpt from the November 2020 Legacy Ledger (Issue 3):

Alumni Spotlight Header

There has been some very good feedback from readers of the first two editions of this column. Now, in its third month, the spotlight is broadening. The first four alumni profiled here represent the three decades of the baby boom generation: the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. And they all were graduates of NAHS or FCHS.

Georgetown High School Graduates, 1931 As this column goes forward, the spotlight will grow wider in several ways. Floyd County has had two high schools which have been closed for decades. Georgetown High School, opened in 1912 (two years after the NAHS graduation of Georgetown native and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sherman Minton) and closed in 1967 with the opening of Floyd Central. Floyd County has another chapter in the history of its high schools: Scribner High School was a racially segregated facility from 1880-1952. Future editions of this column will profile one or more Scribner High School, beginning with Edgar Abell, the valedictorian and senior class president of his 1943 graduating class.

For both schools, induction into the Hall of Fame has been bestowed, not only on graduates of the school, but also to its very accomplished teachers, coaches and staff. In this edition, the spotlight will shine on Floyd Central’s celebrated tennis coach, Rick Miller. Rick was not only a coach, but also, the first Georgetown graduate to be profiled here.

And there are other decades represented in the two schools’ Hall of Fame ranks. This month’s column will introduce the youngest inductee at either school: Amber Finley, NAHS 2002. Future editions will feature other special members of the alumni family from the 1950s, 1940s and earlier. Inherently, this will mean providing the biographies of those who are no longer with us. Recommendations from readers will be very much welcomed to suggest the posthumous profile of inductees from either high school.

Introduction and profiles contributed by Rex Bickers, FCHS ‘70

Amber Finley Headshot

Amber Finley is the youngest inductee into the NAHS Hall of Fame, achieving this honor just sixteen years after high school. A graduate from the class of 2002, Amber is rapidly making her mark in the legal profession. After completing her undergraduate education at Tennessee State University, she earned her law degree from the IU- Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 2011. While in law school she was a clerk/certified legal intern in the Office of the (Indiana) Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Division and assisted in the law school’s Wrongful Conviction Clinic. During law school, Amber was named to the Dean’s List, and was bestowed with the Norman Lefstein Award of Excellence in her graduating class.

After a period of private practice in New York where she is also licensed, Amber has “come back home” to be a Hoosier again for the past seven years. She was appointed a Deputy Attorney General in 2015 and has quickly earned recognition among her peers in both the Marion County (MCBA) and Indianapolis Bar Associations. She was named “Member of the Year” by the MCBA in 2017. Her local colleagues named Amber a Distinguished Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation earlier this year. More recently, she has become a member of the regulatory compliance team at Eli Lilly in its clinical trials division. She remains engaged in state government through her gubernatorial appointment as a member of the Indiana State Psychology Board.

In her free time, you can typically find Amber volunteering in the community with various organizations, including the Indianapolis Urban League, and the Junior League of Indianapolis.

Amber remains close to her family, who still call this area home. In fact, while she is part of the new twenty-first century face of the NAHS alumni community, there are members of the Finley family with Floyd County roots that go back almost 200 years.

We asked Amber to tell us more about her family’s early history in this area, since it predates Indiana’s “first public high school”.

She answered: During law school, I purchased a copy of Pamela Peters’ amazing book, “The Underground Railroad in Floyd County, Indiana” and was overwhelmed with joy to see the book contained a photograph of my grandfather, uncle, great-aunt, and cousins. We are the descendants of Caesar Fin(d)ley who purchased land in Floyd County on September 11, 1828. I was extremely proud to read that my ancestors likely served as “conductors” on the Underground Railroad assisting runaway slaves on their journey to freedom.

Like her ancestors centuries ago, Amber continues the fight for justice and equality.

Rick Miller Headshot

Update since originally published: Rick Dale Miller passed away on Monday, February 5, 2024.

Rick Miller graduated from Georgetown High  School in 1965 and joined the Floyd Central faculty in 1973, as a teacher in radio/TV and  instructional media. He was soon “persuaded” to become an assistant coach to the tennis program. There were no courts at the school. He became head coach in 1974 and held that position through 2016 when he retired. He also founded the girls’ tennis program as its head coach in 1995.

Rick has received virtually every honor that exists in Indiana high school tennis coaching: Coach of the Year (1993), induction into the IHSAA Tennis Hall of Fame (2002) and Conference Coach of the Year (20+ times). He was inducted into the FC Alumni Hall of Fame in 2011. In 2005, Rick incurred a spinal cord injury after a routine surgery. Within months, he was determined to go, in a wheelchair, to encourage the boys while they played in the state finals. Doctors initially told him that he would never walk again. His triumph to return to his feet – – although not 100% successful – – has been an inspiration to tennis players everywhere and to all of the FC community.

His tennis coaching record was equally phenomenal in the years after his injury. The boy’s team was undefeated in the 2015-2016 regular season, his final year, and won sectional four of his last five years. Rick and his wife Jennifer have two children, Shannon (FC ’89) and Brandon (FC ’93). The couple remains addicted to (watching) tennis.

We asked Rick, “What career highlight do you treasure most?”

He answered, “I think that FC tennis instilled the importance of sportsmanship and perseverance into our kids, about as well as anyone could possibly do”.


Read the entire November 2020 Legacy Ledger (Issue 3).

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