Evie Dennis is a leader, innovator, and pioneering advocate for political and legislative change to advance and enhance opportunities for all people in the areas of education, Olympic sports, and amateur athletics.
Dennis came to Denver as a researcher at Children’s Asthma Research Institute and The Jewish National Home for Asthmatic Children. She began her public education career in 1966 as a teacher, eventually moving through the Denver Public Schools system to become Deputy Superintendent from 1988 to 1990 and Superintendent from 1990 to 1994. Dennis was charged with implementing and monitoring the U.S. District Court order to desegregate Denver public schools. Through her dedication to improve and ensure equal educational opportunities for all students and to work with the community through the difficult issues presented by the court’s order, Dennis successfully guided the school system through a complicated and divisive period to create positive alliances between school district, parents, students, teachers, patrons, and community leaders. In addition, she designed and implemented innovative programs to meet the needs of the district’s diverse population, including the Education Advisory Councils, the Denver Energy, Engineering and Education Program (DEEEP), and the American Israel Student Exchange Program.
Evie Dennis’ second great field of endeavor is in amateur and professional athletics. She started as a supporter of her daughter’s track team and rose through local, city, state, regional, and national sports organizations to eventually serve on the boards of directors for the Rocky Mountain AAU, USA Track & Field, and the U.S. Olympic Committee, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the U.S. Sports Academy. She was the Chef de Mission for the USOC for two Pan American Games as well as the 1988 Olympic Games, a first for a woman in the Olympic movement. She is one of the first women to reach the U.S. Olympic Executive Committee and the first to serve as Vice President of the U.S. Olympic Committee, has chaired its Women’s Committee and Diversity Committee, and remains a member of the Governing Bodies Council. She has been a staunch advocate and spokesperson for Title IX, ensuring equal access to sports for young women.
Since 1983, Dennis has chaired the El Pomar Foundation Awards for Excellence Commission, which recognizes and rewards Colorado nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals that serve their communities with distinction and excellence.