Denning was nominated anonymously by his peers.
Each year, the Tennessee Organization of School Super-intendents (TOSS) selects nine superintendents as “Superinten-dent of the Year” for its zoned regions. Among these nine finalists, one will be selected this fall as the state representative.
Denning said he was notified of the award July 1.
Nominees are selected based on education, administrative experience, school system growth, professional development activities, community leadership, and honors and/or awards.
“I’m very flattered with the opportunity. One of the reasons Cleveland City Schools has been so successful is the strong forward-looking school board members who are not afraid to ask for the best for our children,” said Denning.
During an interview Thursday, Denning mentioned he is very proud of the school system’s recent construction and renovation projects at Cleveland High School and George R. Stuart Elementary.
“When these two projects are finished it will have been a responsibility of about $7 million in projects. This is extraordinary and it really shows the dedication of the community, the City Council, County Commission and Mayor Tom Rowland to our kids,” he said.
Denning was appointed the superintendent at Cleveland City Schools following the retirement of Dr. Donald Yates in late 1993.
“I love Cleveland. If you ask me, it’s the best place to live in the world and it’s a wonderful place to raise a family, as I have,” he said.
The superintendent’s education career has spanned more than four decades. He began his career as an elementary school teacher in North Carolina. After two years, he accepted a position as assistant principal at a high school in Fayetteville, N.C. He also served as a high school principal for 15 years in an eastern North Carolina high school.
In 1987, Denning accepted the position of superintendent with the Camden County School System (North Carolina). In 1989, he co-founded the Small Rural Schools Consortium.