Vicki Hodge Lynch was born on April 28th during the time when children rode bicycles without helmets and cars had no seat belts. She is the youngest of four children born to the late Rev. U. G. Hodge and Roberta Hodge Johnson. Raised in family-friendly Gary, WV, she attended the public schools and graduated as president of her senior class at Gary High School. When Vicki was six years old she told anyone who would listen that she wanted to be the mother of thirteen children. Everyone laughed, although she was quite serious! She also shared with friends and family that it did not matter what jobs were available, she would never choose to teach school.
After graduating from high school, the family’s car was loaded and Vicki was taken by her parents to Marshall University, three hours from home. Because she was the spoiled baby of the family, Vicki was uncertain if her parents could survive without her presence… so, from the second day of college until the start of her senior year she called her mom, at first weekly, then monthly to ask permission to quit school and go back home to live. Her mom would always say, “It’s going to get better – just stay another day and do the best you can!”
During her sophomore year while walking back to her dorm room following a morning of classes, Vicki had a serious conversation with God. It went something like this: “Lord I have now been here almost two years and have not declared a major. I have no idea what to do with my life! I really need your help.” Within minutes she veered to the right, walked up three steps and went directly into the education department saying, “I need to speak with a counselor, please, because I am interested in becoming an elementary school teacher.” “What?” “Who said that?” She thought she must be dreaming. Vicki soon began taking early childhood education classes and rapidly excelled.
At the beginning of her senior year, Vicki called her mom and said she’d decided to stay in school and finish since she only had a few months remaining. In March of that year, while sitting in her dorm room, Vicki received a phone call from a representative of the McDowell County (WV) Board of Education. The person asked if she was interested in filling a first grade teaching position at Gary Elementary School – the same school she had attended. With rushing adrenaline Vicki quickly responded, “Yes, the school can be seen from my parents’ home and is only a two to three minute walk.”
The puzzle pieces started to fit. The desire to become the mother of thirteen children (many times over) was realized as Vicki remained in Gary as an educator for the next six years. Then one beautiful Sunday afternoon while sitting on the front porch, after attending church on her 28th birthday, Vicki decided it was time to leave home and explore the world. There was only one problem – she didn’t know where to go. She knew she wanted to venture to a place where she knew no one in order to test her survival skills. Youth allows one to think such unusual thoughts! Unsure where to send her résumé, she made a list of cities that she thought she might like. She sent inquiries to Columbia, SC, Martinsville, VA, Winston Salem, NC and Louisville, KY. Vicki then made the decision to wait until the following day to decide where to send her last résumé. When the mail arrived that next day, Vicki got a letter from another city in WV that was very strangely postmarked Charlotte, NC. (Why would a letter traveling from one town in WV to another in WV have a Charlotte, NC postmark?) She sent that last letter to Charlotte. The next week or so Vicki received a phone call from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) offering an interview. Afterwards, Vicki was hired and remained with CMS four years. As her journey continued, Vicki decided to seek employment elsewhere. She prepared to send résumés to Iredell, Stanly, Union, Cabarrus, and Gaston counties. While walking towards the apartment door to mail the letters, she clearly and distinctly heard a voice say, “Mail one letter to Union County.” She followed the directions she was given and was called the next week by the principal of Western Union Elementary School. During her third year there, Vicki was selected by her peers as “Teacher of the Year.” She later worked successfully with the help of others, to attain National Board Certification with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. Vicki happily and proudly remained at Western Union for twenty-four years and retired after thirty-four years of mothering and educating hundreds of children.
As life does not only involve a career, Vicki married and was very blessed to give birth to two beautiful, fun-loving children. Her daughter Dayna is a student at Loyola University in New Orleans, while her son Jordan is a student athlete at Parkwood High School in Monroe, NC. The family resides in Waxhaw.
Vicki, a twenty-five year member of the Rocky Ridge Missionary Baptist Church in Concord, enjoys teaching students of all ages and singing with the choir there. She also teaches classes for the Lanes Creek Missionary Baptist Association. Vicki loves people, enjoys talking to anyone who will listen, and really believes what Proverbs 18:24 says: “A man that has friends must show himself friendly and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother!”