Title: Secondary School Educator
Location: LaGrange, Georgia, United States
Nancy Helen Olney, Secondary School Educator at Lafayette Society for Performing Arts, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in art education.
Descending from a lineage of talented artists, Ms. Olney’s family, specifically her great-aunt and her parents, Virginia Onley and Lieutenant Colonel George W. Olney, encouraged her to explore her artistic talents. Her father served in the U.S. Air Force and was a talented artist and sculptor whose unyielding support influenced Ms. Olney to earned a Bachelor of Science in education from Auburn University. Ms. Olney holds teaching and insurance licensure with the state of Georgia and has spent her career bettering the education system. She worked as a teacher for the Troup County School Systems and served as a teacher and chair of fine arts for LaGrange High School as well as the director of education for the LaGrange Art Museum and the executive assistant of the Lafayette Society for Performing Arts before her retirement in 2015. As a testament to her professional achievements, Ms. Olney has been featured in the 24th edition of Who’s Who of American Women and has been lauded with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ms. Olney fondly remembers her students and is proud of the positive effect she has had on their lives. She recalls a student whom no one believed would graduate high school but, thanks to her encouragement and refusal to give up on him, he graduated high school, art school, and became an artist in residence overseas. Ms. Olney supported all her students and maintains people should find what they’re good at, follow their dreams, and allow their passions to guide them to where they are meant to be. Though she is retired, Ms. Olney champions the LaGrange International Friendship Exchange, an art and music festival in downtown LaGrange that promotes common understanding among cultures. This year’s festival will take place September 6 to September 8 and will have free food, dancing, music and art.
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