Dehryl A. “Tony” Dennis, superintendent of the Boise School District in the mid 1990s and the person for whom the district’s professional technical center is named, died Sunday.
He was 75.
Dennis was hired as superintendent in 1994 and served until 1999.
“He was a smart guy,” said Rory Jones, then a school board trustee who headed the selection committee for a new superintendent. “He understood politics.”
Dennis became superintendent as relations between the district and the teachers union were strained. “There was a fight,” Jones said. “They were picketing our meetings.”
Dennis is credited with easing the tensions with teachers and finding a way for the district and union to work together that continues to this day. “I think Tony Dennis is the one that set us on that course,” said A.J. Balukoff, a trustee who was on the board during part of Dennis’ tenure.
He would say, ‘We could do better for those kids.’
Tony’s son, Coby Dennis
Trustees named their professional technical center, which opened in 2000, for Dennis as an acknowledgment of his work and his vision for the center that brought together several districts and partners.
Professional and technical centers teach students trades such as electronics and auto mechanics.
Before the center, Boise District’s vocational programs were located in a warehouse, said his son Coby Dennis. Boise District’s deputy superintendent. “I can tell you that has always been an interest of his,” Coby Dennis said. His father would say, “We could do better for those kids,” Coby Dennis added.
Dennis began his career as a social studies teacher at Homedale School District in 1963. He also taught in Kuna, Puerto Rico and Illinois before coming to Boise District in 1976.
Funeral services are planned for 10 a.m. Jan.28 at the Borah High School auditorium.