Margaret L. Varney contracted polio as a child. Although she survived the disease, she was left practically paralyzed. Despite this physical challenge, Margaret graduated from Brunswick High School and then attended Gorham State Teacher’s College.
Her professional career started in Auburn, Maine where she taught 5th grade for seven years. In 1961, she joined the staff at Brunswick Junior High School. As a result of Margaret’s hard work and visionary insight, a new approach to teaching social studies was pioneered: a multi-media, student discovery methodology. As Chair of the Social Studies Department, she trained many individuals who went onto distinguished careers in education. As a teacher, she was extremely demanding of her students, yet understanding and sensitive to their needs. Although diminutive in stature, Margaret had a powerful influence on the lives of her students. She also had very strong feelings for her community and its people.
Margaret loved to travel and had visited most countries of the world. In the spring of 1993, less than a year after her retirement from Brunswick Junior High School, Margaret was killed in a car accident while in Killdevil Hills, North Carolina. Brunswick Junior High School annually bestows the Margaret L. Varney Award to an eighth grader who has shown a consistent affinity of the social studies.