NANCY AIKEN VARIAN
“Memorable lessons came from the risk that families took to build a new school from the ground up,” Varian said. Varian was a member of the first graduating class in 1971 and remembers fondly helping lay the foundation for Starkville Academy. “Being a newly created school, the students in the senior and junior classes were given many responsibilities in decision making and leadership that were quite unique,” Varian said. “Having the teachers and administrators and younger students depending on us, it gave us a mission and a commitment to build something important for the future.” As a student, she was a member of the high school band and pep squad, editor of the Volition yearbook and named Miss Starkville Academy.
After graduating from Starkville Academy, she attended Mississippi State University. Varian eventually moved to Ohio and has been teaching for more than 40 years in the classroom, as a curriculum director, as a building principal and now at the university level. While in Ohio, Varian earned another master’s degree and a PhD in curriculum and instruction. In her present position at Malone University, she has led student groups to Asia, Africa and South America on service-learning trips. She and her husband also own and operate a family apple and peach orchard, which is sometimes used for weddings and events. Though Varian has been away from the Starkville community for many years, she credits her time at Starkville Academy for providing the foundation she needed in life. “Growing personally as a student came from the confidence placed in us by the adults,” she said. “They wanted us to be involved in the decision making, and it challenged us to often do things that weren’t comfortable for us and made us creative and spontaneous. Those were great life lessons that have served me well in life.”
More Fun Facts about Nancy Aiken Varian
Varian’s Favorite Quote: ‘There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” (Albert Einstein)
Varian’s Favorite Memory at SA: “I have many wonderful memories. One of my favorites was the distinction of being the very first graduate of the school. With the last name Aiken, it was an alphabetical thing, but I couldn’t have been more proud!”
Varian’s Favorite Accomplishment at SA: “The upper classmen were charged with making many decisions which would probably be felt by students for many years. We took our responsibilities seriously and as a group felt a great deal of accomplishment as we worked together.”
News, Notes, and Highlights
- Congratulations to Garner Montgomery, our STAR Student, and Mrs. Kim Logeston, our STAR Teacher. They will be attending the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program at the Jackson Convention Center tomorrow.
- The Volition Beauty and Beau Review is this Friday, April 13, at 7 p.m. at Rent Auditorium on MUW’s campus. Tickets are $10 and are available in the high school office. Tickets will also be available at the door.
- Grandparents please join us Friday, April 13, for Grandparents’ Day at 1 p.m. in the gym.
- The SA Talent Showcase will be Thursday, May 10, at 6 p.m. in the gym to celebrate the performing talents of our students.