Kiwanis Club Of Chattanooga Honors Dr. Edna Varner With 2021 Distinguished Service Award

  • Wednesday, January 19, 2022
The Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga will honor Dr. Edna Varner with the 2021 Distinguished Service Award on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at The Westin Chattanooga with an award ceremony and lunch.  The event is sold out. 
“Dr. Edna Varner is an incredibly deserving honoree for the Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga Distinguished Service Award,” said Kiwanis Club Member Larry Stone.  “She’s a Chattanooga native who has spent her entire career in the education field, as a former middle/high school teacher and principal, testifying before the U.S.
Senate Education Committee, and is currently training new teachers to change the ecosystems of their schools.” 
Her leadership roles on civic boards include serving the Aim Center, ArtsBuild, Ballet Tennessee, Chattanooga 2.0, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, Chattanooga Housing Authority, Chattanooga Prep, Read 20, Siskin Children's Institute, The Chattanooga State Foundation, The Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies, The UC Foundation, Thrive, UnifiEd, United Way of Chattanooga and WTCI.
Dr. Varner has been recognized for her many contributions, including these awards: African American Living Legends by the African American Hall of Fame, Chattanooga State's Dinner of Firsts, Delta Woman of the Year Service Award, Leadership Chattanooga, National Endowment for Humanities, The Unbought & Unbossed award from Girls Inc. of Chattanooga and as a 2006 Chattanooga Woman of Distinction.
She retired from Hamilton County Schools in 2001 to become the director of leadership development for Cornerstone National Literacy Initiative. She is currently a senior advisor for leading and learning at the Public Education Foundation. In 2007 and 2009 she represented PEF, speaking to the U.S. Senate Education Committee on changes to No Child Left Behind and Improving Transitions from High School to College. 
Dr. Varner’s current role includes coaching new Project Inspire teachers, encouraging them to become leaders who change the ecosystems of their schools so that students and teachers don't merely survive, they thrive. 
She loves travel, public speaking and stays active and engaged in the community and beyond because she believes, as did author Zora Neale Hurston, "To know there, you have to go there."
The Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga has annually presented the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of an individual’s outstanding leadership and service to the Chattanooga community since 1922.
For more information, call 423-267-6568 or email Learn more about the Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga and past Distinguished Service Award recipients at
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