Retired state, local educator's contribution recognized

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

PLEASANTON – Superintendents from the three school districts in Linn County took the opportunity to honor retired Deputy Commissioner of Education Dale Dennis on Friday, Oct. 9.

Last year, the Linn County Commission approved a proclamation to name a day in Dennis’ honor, however, he was not able to receive it then. Pleasanton USD 344 Travis Laver learned that Dennis planned to have his vehicle serviced at the dealership in Pleasanton and made arrangements with Jayhawk USD 346 Superintendent Shawn Thomas and Prairie View USD 362 Rex Bollinger to meet there.

Dennis began his career about 60 years ago at Blue Mound High School, where he was a teacher for five years. He was then hired as a principal at La Cygne High School, where he served two years before landing a job at the Kansas State Department of Education.

He worked at KSDE for 53 years before retiring about a year ago.

Laver said in a social media post that Dennis was a hero to educators across the state. During his career with KDHE he worked with local school districts as they tried to make sense of often arcane budget requirements. He often traveled to local school board meetings, including those in Linn County, to explain budget restrictions and work-arounds.

His work sometimes drew the ire of some legislators for helping school districts find loopholes in legislation meant to cripple local budgets.

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