Mrs. Dennis retires from Wilmington 209-U

ALOHA! FACULTY AND STAFF at Wilmington School District 209-U held a Hawaiian-themed retirement party for Venita Deniis in May. The veteran teacher and principal retires this year after 35 years in education. Photo by Marney Simon.


After more than 30 years in education, Stevens Intermediate School principal Venita Dennis walked the halls for the final time as the school year closed. Mrs. Dennis retired at the close of the 2022-2023 school year.

Faculty, staff and administration held a retirement party for Mrs. Dennis in May.

The Free Press Advocate asked Mrs. Dennis about some of her memories about her time at Wilmington School District 209-U. Here is what she had to say:

“I have been blessed to work in the Wilmington School District for twenty-five years, with a total of thirty-five years in education all together. I started in Wilmington, in 1998, as a teacher at Booth Central School. I was lucky to have so many wonderful students and work with so many great teachers. I was thrilled to learn under great leadership at the building level and district level. I was hired as the principal of Bruning School in 2007. I enjoyed the children, teachers, staff, custodians and parents of Bruning School. Such a delightful school! In 2014, I was moved to Stevens Intermediate. I was lucky to have wonderful students, teachers, staff, custodians, and parents at Stevens. So very supportive of me! I am finishing my career at Stevens Intermediate School.  

“I thank the staff, teachers, administrators, and school board who have given me such wonderful support through the years. I was blessed to work with such a great administrative team. I thank my husband, Greg, for all his support. I thank my family, the Plese’s and the Dennis’, for their support.  

“I will miss telling my Friday jokes, some not so good, as the students will tell you. I will miss the light that the students gave me each day with their hugs, “good mornings”, “I love yous”, smiles, appreciation, and pure goodness. I will miss the staff, with their never ending kindness and support. I wish Mrs. Orellano the best of luck. I know she will take Stevens Intermediate to new heights!

“Thank you Wilmington for being a huge part of my life every day for twenty-five years. I will always be a Wildcat! I will always support the Wilmington Schools. GO WILDCATS!”

District officials praised Mrs. Dennis for her years of hard work and dedication to students and staff.

"Venita has been a tremendous asset in our district for many years as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal at Bruning and the intermediate school," said Assistant Superintendent Kevin Feeney. "She has positively impacted many students and teachers and will be missed by all. I wish Venita a very happy and healthy retirement."

"Although we are very excited for Venita, as she gets ready to begin her next phase of ‘retired life’, she will truly be missed by the students, staff and families of Stevens Intermediate School," added Superintendent Dr. Matt Swick. "Mrs. Dennis has served faithfully as a valuable member of our district leadership team for many years. Her dedication and work ethic are unquestionable. She truly loves the kids of Wilmington, and although we wish her nothing but the best in retirement, she will definitely be missed."

The new principal at SIS starting with the 2023-2024 academic year is Casey Orellano, who was approved to the new positon this spring by the Board of Education. Orellano has been working at the intermediate school as a teacher, reading specialist, RTI Coordinator, and Academic coach over the past eight years.