Sadie Coates Combs was one of the longest-tenured and most respected faculty members at John J. Wright Consolidated School. Born in 1893 to locals Rev. John Coates and his wife Elsie Harris, Sadie studied with John J. Wright at a public school in Spotsylvania County.
Mrs. Combs earned her first degree from Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute at the age of 19. This degree recommended her for the first teaching position at the new Spotsylvania Training School and launched a forty-two-year career in education and public service: After teaching for thirty-two years, she returned to Virginia State College for a second degree that allowed her to transition to library work for another decade.
A lifelong leader, she also served as the president of the Sunday School Union, the Spotsylvania County Teachers Association, the Parent-Teacher Association, and other organizations.