Marsha Marcela

Author Marsha Marcela poses with a copy of her book, ‘Mr. Rigney, Rigney, and Me. (...or is it “I”).’

BLOWING ROCK — Retired Watauga County Schools teacher, Marsha Marcela, has recently written a book titled “Mr. Rigney, Rigney, and Me (...or is it “I”).” Marcela, who began her teaching career in Patrick County, Va., describes her mentor George Rigney and the influence he had on her career.

In her book she chronicles her experiences with Rigney during the final years of his life after he lost his right leg to frostbite. The book is told from Marcela’s point of view as she retells many of the stories Rigney told her about his experiences as a young up-and-coming teacher during the late 1940s. She also describes his journey through post-secondary education at Radford University, where after 10 years of summer sessions he earned a bachelor’s degree.

Marcela gives numerous accounts about the visits that she made to the homes of Rigney’s friends in Patrick and Carroll county, V.a. during his final years of life. The book features pictures of Rigney at various stages of his career, as well as photos of him with his friends during his final years.

One of the chapters in the book was written by Marcela’s son, Rigney, who is a special education teacher at J.V. Washam Elementary School in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and is named after her mentor. His chapter details his desire to carry on Rigney’s teaching legacy.

All proceeds from the sale of this book will further Rigney’s work and legacy through the George D. Rigney Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was established immediately following his death in 2018. The scholarship benefits first-generation college students from Patrick County High School. The book, which was published by Tom Perry and Laurel Hill Publishing Co.

In addition to teaching and writing, Marcela has developed an interest in local tourism. She and her husband can be spotted at Tweetsie Railroad as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus during their special Christmas event.

Books can be purchased online or by emailing the author at They are also available at Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock.

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