Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga honors Dr. Edna Varner with 2021 Distinguished Service Award


The Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga will honor Dr. Edna Varner with the 2021 Distinguished Service Award on Tuesday, February 1 at the Westin Chattanooga with an awards ceremony and luncheon. The event is sold out.

“Dr. Edna Varner is an incredibly deserving recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga,” said Kiwanis Club member Larry Stone. of Education, as a former teacher and middle school/high school principal, testifying before the US Senate Committee on Education, and currently training new teachers to change the ecosystems of their schools.”

Her civic board leadership roles include 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 Director of Leadership Development for the Cornerstone National Literacy Initiative. She is currently the Senior Leadership and Learning Advisor at the Public Education Foundation. In 2007 and 2009, she represented PEF, speaking to the US Senate Committee on Education on changes to No Child Left Behind and improving transitions from high school to college.

Dr. Varner’s current role includes mentoring new teachers at Project Inspire, encouraging them to become leaders who change their schools’ ecosystems so that students and teachers don’t just survive, they thrive.

She loves to travel, public speaking, and stays active and engaged in the community and beyond because she believes, as author Zora Neale Hurston did, “To know there, you have to go.”

The Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga has presented the Distinguished Service Award annually in recognition of an individual’s leadership and outstanding service to the Chattanooga community since 1922.

For more information, call 423-267-6568 or email [email protected] To learn more about the Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga and past Distinguished Service Award recipients, visit


Comments are closed.