Colby Eagles Alumni Association
Mr. Dennen ~ Superintendent
Nominated by Vida Nelson Toburen, 1930
Roland L. Dennen, his wife Lucy and small daughter, Nancy, came to Colby in June of 1933 after Mr. Dennen accepted the position of Superintendent of Schools in Colby. There were two school buildings in Colby when the Dennens arrived, Colby Consolidated Building and the very well worn High School Building . After the defeat of a bond issue to build a new high school, one was finally approved in 1934. With the aid of the Public Works Administration, the government would contribute 30 percent of the cost of a new building. A contract was subsequently let for $180,000. The students reacted with enthusiasm and pride with Mr. Dennen’s guidance and through the years with care the new High School building stand today on the National Registry of Historic Places. In 1948 the elementary School was in need of additional space so the consolidate gymnasium was divided into four classrooms. In 1949, unit one of the primary school was erected at a cost of $240,000 and in 1953, Primary II was constructed. Until 1949, the High School Athletic Field had been at the Thomas County Fair Grounds. When additional ground was acquired, an excellent running track was built which ultimately was named Dennen Field in honor of Mr. Dennen. In 1960 bids were taken for a new Junior High Building , which was completed while Mr. Dennen still served as Superintendent of Colby Schools.
In 30 years, Mr. Dennen had directed the Colby Schools and laid the foundation for the physical plant we have today located between Range Avenue and Grant Street . This didn’t terminate his interest in Colby, because he came back to Colby from his home in Colorado Springs and motored on to Topeka to help influence the legislature in establishing the Colby Community College . This was accomplished by 1964. Later Mr. Dennen was called back to Dodge City , Kansas where he was honored by being inducted into the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame. Nancy Dennen Williams was born December 25, 1931 . She completed her elementary and secondary school work at Colby and attended the University of Kansas , receiving her degree in the spring of 1953. She married James D. Williams, an electrical engineer. They have 3 children.
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