Virginia Rackley Scates

I grew up in church. My parents made sure we knew where we would be for worship. My mama took us and my daddy reinforced the expectation. They both have their own story to tell, and what a story they have! Even so, they grounded me in my own testimony where my story begins. I grew up surrounded by love, laughter, and alcoholism; even though my brothers and I had no idea it existed in our family until 1989. My parents sat Nick (my husband) and me down to talk about their shared life experiences, Dad's alcoholism (recovered since 1985), and how they were able to build a strong marriage that sustained the trials of being human and daily living. That testimony in the days leading up to my wedding day has carried me through many of my own missteps in life. I was baptized as a child and knew I loved the Lord. In high school, I began to question my salvation. I believed I did not have a testimony. How can you have a testimony when your before Christ days didn't feel all that dramatic? I am that professor who lives for the dramatic and extra in life, and my testimony didn't seem to include it. What I later realized is that my testimony is just that extra and dramatic. It is filled with Jesus at every single turn. I was saved from drugs, gangs, and other worldly blatant sins at age 7. God saved me from walking into that part of worldly living that He knew I couldn't handle. A gal who is often more extra than others can handle doesn't need to be involved in drugs, gangs, or Hell's Angels. He knew that was not the place for me before I was born. He saved me from that testimony! Instead, He gave me a mother who prayed every day, a father who worked hard, and who both loved me fiercely. I am grateful God saved me young and spared me from some of the “extra” in life. I am thankful I have a relationship with my husband that doesn't include past relationships with others. I am so grateful I don't have to tell my girls about all the “big” terrible things I did before God saved me. He spared me from that testimony. Do I have a testimony that includes struggle? Of course! Can I be "lukewarm"? Yes, that is part of my testimony I would like to erase. There are times when I allow life to take over and I lose some of my fire. Sometimes I have to jerk my feet out of the world and back into the one who I know saved me. My testimony contains a lot of repentance, prayers to feel worthy to worship him, and the desire to stay centered in Christ. I have learned that struggles, temptation, and failure are a reality, EVEN when we are walking with Christ daily in worship and service. Nick and I have two beautiful daughters, friends, family, and college students that are now family. My story is one of family with Christ as the Father. I pray that my family grows and I can share that testimony with students daily. Thirty-eight years later, the discussion at my parents' table still frames my story. It reminds us that we all struggle but Christ is ever faithful and with us.

My Life

Favorite Quote

"Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve!" - J.K. Rowling "No measure of time will be long enough.... Let's start with forever." - Edward Cullen "Always date your spouse! Life is short, the children grow up, and when you are old you need someone to get into trouble with!" - Dr. Scates

Friends describe me

as extra, easy-going, fun, keeping my teacher brain on 24/7, and always laughing

My hobbies

Reading, sitting on the shore, cruising, travel, and crafting

Fantasy dinner guests

Jesus, many of the women of the Bible, loved ones who have gone home, and Elvis.

Best advice I ever received

Love Christ first, you husband the most, your children a close second, and then your parents and family. Thank you Mom and Dad for this advise in August of 1989. I have not forgotten it.

My undergrad alma mater

Lander University

My worst subject in school

Math - Mrs. Clary told me repeatedly to stop thinking about and writing notes to Nick Scates so I could learn the math. Sorry Mrs. Clary! I still do poorly in math, but I do love my husband well!

In college I drove

A Ford Festiva. That little black car got the best gas mileage and took me places I had dreamed of going - to college (1985) and my very own first classroom of my own at Blacksburg Elementary School in 1989!

If I weren't a professor, I would

still be in my public school classroom teaching 3k -6th grade. For 28 years I moved around in those grade bands and loved every second of teaching Scates' Mates!

Favorite books

The Bible, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Where the Crawdad's Sing, the Twilight series, the Hunger Games series, Tuesdays With Morrie This is not a fair question. I love to read and need a few pages to complete the answer to this question!

Favorite movies

Twilight movie series, Hunger Game movie series, UP!, Dirty Dancing, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Breakfast Club

Favorite city

New York, Willemstad, Curaco, Oranjestad, Aruba, The list is long but time is short!

Favorite coffee

I love to smell coffee, but I do not like to drink it!

Nobody knows I

have always wanted to publish a book! I have several running around in my brain.

My latest accomplishment

is sharing life with my wonderful husband and seeing my girls love hard and bless others! They love with abandon and really care about people. They are my life's greatest work. My latest professional accomplishment is seeing all of my student teachers graduate and enter our profession. They have developed caring classroom communities, loved and taught students well, and represent the profession well.

Current Research

I am working on growing my own higher education as I enter my 3rd year as the Elementary Teacher Education Program Coordinator at Limestone University. I retired from public education after 28 years in the field. There are several areas that I desire to research in both education and the field of higher education. These areas are part of my future research goals.