Needham High School Distinguished Career Awards



George A. Dennett

The Annual George A. Dennett Needham High School Distinguished Career Awards were first presented in 1990 and the ceremony has become a revered fall tradition for the current Needham High School  junior class and members of the Needham community.  This award was named after Needham High School’s long-time teacher, coach and architect of the award, George Dennett.

George graduated from Newton High School in 1945, and from Boston University with a B.S. in Education in 1949, with advanced studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Boston University. Upon graduation, he first served as the Director of Physical Education in Houlton, ME and then from 1958 until his retirement in 1987 as a teacher in the Needham School System.

 Over the years George coached numerous sports, winning the 1956 Aroostoock League Baseball Championship, with a perfect 11-0 record. At Needham High School, he was for many years the Assistant (JV) Basketball Coach, with several Bay State League Conference Championships to his credit. He was the Athletic Trainer at NHS during much of the 1960’s, and upon the retirement of Mike DeFazio, served as the Faculty Manager of Athletics for Needham High School for the next 35+ years. George was also associated with Boston University’s Sargent Camp, starting on the maintenance staff as a college student, before retiring 20 years later as the Waterfront Director when the camp closed in 1969. He also served for several years as the Head Swimming instructor at the Beaver County Day School Summer Camp. George was a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Needham, and also served in a variety of offices for the Alton Shores Association – most often as the Vice President of Roads and Water. 

His proudest contribution to the youth he served throughout his life, was the founding and creation of the Needham High School Distinguished Career Award, established in 1990 and since renamed in his honor. The initial idea for the award came from conversations over the family dinner table, and was developed as a way of recognizing former Needham High School students who have gone on to distinguished careers in their chosen field of endeavor. Serving as role models and inspirations, each years’ honorees are invited back to Needham High School to speak to the Junior Class. 

Source: Obituary and Needham Times 6/2013
YouTube Video: Tribute to George Denett, 2013 by Alison Borrelli9