Penn Yan school superintendent to retire

Jan 31, 2024 at 12:55 pm by Observer-Review

howard dennis
PENN YAN--Penn Yan Central School District Superintendent Howard Dennis announced last week that he is planning to retire in early January of 2025. He began with Penn Yan school in 1994 and has been the superintendent for the past nine years.
“Thirty years in one district is a long time,” said Dennis. “I raised my kids here and I have grandkids getting ready to come through the district as well. For me, it’s the people and the staff I will miss the most, along with the community support. The school culture here is wonderful.”
Dennis came to Penn Yan as an eighth-grade social studies teacher, a role he held for 10 years. He then shifted to supporting teachers in staff development. He later took on the role of Assistant Superintendent for Staff Instruction before being named Superintendent in 2015.
Preparing students for life after school can be a challenging task but it has been a priority for the superintendent — whether that is college, the trades or something else.
“I live a mile from the school so I can pop in and do things here,” Dennis said. “I love that even though we’re small, we’re large enough to offer opportunities and maintain a strong school community.”
In the announcement, Mr. Dennis said he is excited to retire so he can spend more time with his family and grandkids — and maybe a little bit of travel, too. But he admits it will be a little odd to skip that early-morning alarm.
“For 50 years, I’ve gotten up and gone to school every day, so this will be a little weird,” he concedes. “But if there is one thing I can say, it would be to thank the community for allowing me this opportunity for 30 years — for letting me teach their students and work with such talented and dedicated staff. And I would ask them to continue to support the people and teachers and staff who are still here.”
Mr. Dennis shared his intent to retire with the Penn Yan Board of Education on Jan. 10. The board of education will now begin the superintendent search process with the intention of filling that role by January 2025.
“On behalf of the board, we would like to recognize and express our gratitude to Mr. Dennis for his commitment to the Penn Yan school district and community,” stated David Willson, board of education president. “Mr. Dennis has dedicated his career to the betterment of our students and leaves a legacy of commitment to engage, educate, empower, and enrich every student, every day. He will be missed.”
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