Dr. Dennis Loftus Named 2023 John H. Taylor, Jr. Education Leadership Award Recipient

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At the Superstars in Education & Training Awards Reception on Monday evening, the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce’s workforce development affiliate, The Partnership, Inc., honored renowned education leader Dr. Dennis Loftus with the John H. Taylor, Jr. Education Leadership Award for his commitment, leadership, guidance, and contributions to the education system in Delaware.

Over the course of his 50-plus-year career, Loftus was a teacher, principal, superintendent, supervisor, mentor, and a friend. He reworked the New Castle County Vocational-Technical schools into a model that was copied around the country; mentored more than half the superintendents in the state; helped develop the educational leadership program at the University of Delaware; and worked on committees to create a “worldclass education system” for Delaware.

“He’s a wonderful man,” said Robert Rescigno, assistant vice president of partnerships and community affairs for Wilmington University. “He never takes credit for himself.”

Loftus served in various administrative and teaching positions throughout his career, including Delaware Technical Community College, New Castle County Vocational Technical School District, Middletown High School, University of Delaware, and the Delaware State Board of Education. During his tenure as superintendent of the New Castle County Vocational-Technical School District, he was recognized as the Delaware Superintendent of the Year.

Loftus has also served on various committees and boards, including the Models of Excellence Committee, the State Compensation Commission, and the Delaware Workforce Development Board. At 81, he’s been retired for seven years, but still contributes to state education committees as a volunteer.

“All I did was ask and listen a lot, and a lot of collective energy went together to maybe help a lot of kids and teachers and administrators become better at serving others,” reflected Loftus on his years of service. “I look at that and I’m not really sure that’s deserving of recognition or award, but it sure was a fun journey.”

About the John H. Taylor, Jr. Education Leadership Award
Throughout his professional career, Mr. Taylor was an educator. He began his career as a teacher, then served as the assistant to the superintendent of the Wilmington Public Schools. Taylor’s education background, coupled with his ability to share information and make connections served him well as he rose to become editorial page editor for The News Journal before becoming president of the Delaware Public Policy Institute in 2005. As a founding member of the Vision Coalition, Taylor’s leadership and directness were instrumental in building an impactful public-private partnership to advocate for improved education in Delaware. Taylor’s leadership style was always straightforward, clear-headed, and often unwavering. At the same time, he was a humorous and truly humble person.

The John H. Taylor, Jr. Education Leadership Award recognizes leaders within the community who have provided sustained leadership in advancing Delaware education and who, by doing so, has also made our community a better place in which to live and work.

Click here to view a feature on Dr. Loftus in Delaware Business magazine.


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