Dennis Deloatch is Dedicated to Shaping Minds & His Community
Community is family. It’s being a part of where you live. But for educators like Dennis Deloatch, that word takes on a different meaning; it’s giving back to those you’ve met in a way that makes a difference and helps them better serve and shape the minds of tomorrow.
In small towns like Ahoskie, North Carolina, where Dennis served as superintendent, providing motivation and security for qualified teachers to start their careers there is difficult without the access to affordable housing that larger cities offer.
“The greatest concern I had when I became superintendent was the teacher turnover rate. It was 35% and, being a new superintendent, you’re challenged with the idea of trying to improve student outcomes. How can you improve that when you’re losing a third of your teachers every year?”
However, by working with his local SECU branch and the SECU Foundation, Dennis was able to create a plan designed to attract and retain educators in his community. Through an interest-free, $2.2 million loan provided by the SECU Foundation, which is funded by the Credit Union’s members and other charitable donations, Dennis developed the Hertford Pointe Teacher Housing Project. The project provides qualified teachers with affordable housing and additional resources. Additionally, now that the loan is paid off, a portion of the proceeds from the rental community go towards funding scholarships for students in the local community to continue their education.
Because of SECU, the Foundation, and Dennis’s efforts, the town of Ahoskie’s teacher turnover rate dropped from 35% to 12% in the first year of the project’s launch. Its success has been so tremendous that, as the project continues to expand in Ahoskie, other cities across the country are looking to reproduce it for their own communities.
“This is a part of giving back, of leaving a legacy for years to come. This was a team effort from everyone involved, but SECU pretty much led the way.”