Honoring the Life and Service of Michael David Varnerby Representative Jeff Miller
Posted on 2013-02-12
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Mr. MILLER of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the
life and service of Northwest Florida's beloved Michael David Varner,
who passed away on February 6, 2013. During his long and distinguished
career in education, Mr. Varner served as a mentor and an inspiration
to countless individuals throughout Northwest Florida. After an arduous
battle with brain cancer, the loss of a great man and unparalleled
public servant and educator is felt not only here at home, but across
the state of Florida.
Mr. Varner was born on October 8, 1953, in Highland Falls, New York. Upon graduating in 1971 from Niceville High School in Northwest Florida, Mr. Varner attended Okaloosa-Walton Community College, as well as, the University of South Florida. He continued his education at the University of West Florida, where he earned a Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science in Teaching.
Mr. Varner's passion for educating led him to Tate High School, where he taught biology for 35 years. He also served as an adjunct professor at Pensacola State College for ten years. During his years as an educator, his commitment was always to the students and helping them reach their goals, both in and out of the classroom. Mr. Varner coached soccer, sponsored Student Government and Exchange Club, and served as sponsor to both the sophomore and senior classes for students at Tate High School.
Mr. Varner has been widely recognized and honored for his years of teaching and service to the community with ``Who's Who Among Teachers,'' Florida Biology Teacher of the Year, and most recently with the Escambia County Teacher of the Year award in 2011. While the list of Mr. Varner's achievements extends far beyond what is noted here, they all highlight his unwavering devotion to improving the lives of those around him and to bettering his community through service.
In addition to his devotion to his students, Mr. Varner was a man of faith and committed to his parish. For nearly 20 years, he assisted Youth Ministry with planning, organizing, and assisting in many diocesan youth events. He was also a talented musician, who used his gift of music to write and play songs for church services and school functions.
Northwest Florida, Escambia County, Florida, and the many students whose lives were touched by Mr. Varner, mourn the loss of an exceptional man. His contributions and service to the community and this great nation will forever be remembered.
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the United States Congress, I am privileged to honor the exemplary life of Michael David Varner. My wife Vicki and I offer our prayers to his wife Kathleen, his sons Jason and Brian, his parents Richard and Madeleine, his siblings Valarie and Richard, and Mr. Varner's entire family and friends. He will be truly missed by all.