Reflections of Life
Virgie Virginia Sellars was born on July 29, 1927 in Alamance County, North Carolina. Following several years of declining health, she quietly passed away in the presence of her devoted loved ones. Virginia, as she was commonly known was the daughter of William H. Sellars, Sr. and Virgie Smith Sellars. She was a graduate of Jordan-Sellars High School, North Teachers College (North Carolina Central University) and North Carolina A&T State University. She was a career educator for 36 years with the Burlington City School System. She was a devoted and life-long member of Ebenezer United Church of Christ.
She enjoyed playing bridge, reading, writing and traveling to new places. A teacher for over 30 years, she was known by everyone at J.F. Gunn Elementary and Jordan Sellars High School as an icon. Ask anyone who attended those schools and they will tell you that they were in one of Miss Sellars’ classes. She was the first African-American Educator to integrate Broadview Middle School.
She was named Burlington’s Teacher of the Year in 1974, and was quoted in the Times News stating, “I have great faith in the improvability of man through education. I believe that pupils should be given visions of the possibilities which lie ahead and endeavor to enlist their loyalties and enthusiasms in the realizations of these visions. I strive to study each pupil, find his capabilities and talents, and provide experiences which will help him develop maximum effectiveness in our democratic and industrial society.” She served as a member of the local, state and national education associations and was active in the merger of the North Carolina Teachers Association and the North Carolina Education Association. Her community activities were highlighted by her church work. She enjoyed church work and fellowshipping with other Christians. As a member of Ebenezer United Church of Christ, she served as a Sunday school teacher, choir member and an active participant in Missionary Circle #1, church government and the church’s women’s organizations.
In addition, she served as a member of the City of Burlington Housing Commission, a Girl Scout leader, United Fund campaigner, a member of the Household Ruth’s Lodge #920, a member of Habitat Carpenter’s Club, and a reading consultant in the Inner-City Youth Program.
She changed lives, and gave kids confidence. The impact that she had was legendary. With her high standards, she would settle for nothing less than people’s best.
Cherished memories are left with her surviving siblings: Mary E. Haith and Lewis Sellars as well as a multitude of nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, Virginia was preceded in death by her siblings: William Henry Sellars, Jr., Gordon Sellars, Sr., Reverend Lucian Sellars, John W. Sellars "Johnny" and Minor Ruth Sellars.
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