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Dennis Ortwein Scholarship

Dr. Ortwein's Legacy

Dr. Dennis Ortwein ~ educator, community activist, lover of music ~ was born in Harlowton, MT and graduated from Eastern College in Billings, MT. After graduating with an education degree, Dennis moved to Las Vegas in 1956 to start his long career with the Clark County School District. In 1978, Dr. Ortwein was one of the first doctoral candidates to be awarded a doctorate from the Nevada System of Higher Education. As educator, Dr. Ortwein had a 36-year career in education in Las Vegas - with 24 of those as principal and administrator. As principal of a then still-segregated elementary school, he campaigned with other civil rights supporters to facilitate the integration of the schools and to secure equal educational opportunities for all CCSD students. He also championed educational equality for students with special needs or disabilities. In post retirement he was a substitute principal for 13 years, as well as the Interim Superintendent of the Esmerelda County School District.

In recognition of his contributions to the CCSD and the Las Vegas community a new school was named in his honor. The Dennis Ortwein Elementary School was dedicated in August 2018. In keeping with his record of community service, Dr. Ortwein worked with the National Conference of Christians and Jews, having been hired as the executive director. He was a 60-year member of Rotary International (including serving as President several terms), helping to provide services to children and people in need. He worked with other community leaders to establish the Southern Nevada Interfaith Council and continued to work with them to develop interfaith forums.

His passion for music was exemplified by his exemplary Irish Tenor voice and his joy at singing for weddings, funerals, Catholic church services, Rotary meetings, special events, Broadway plays and lastly with the Sun City Silvertones. In the last decade of his life, his devoted service as a member of the Foundation to Assist Young Musicians (FAYM) board of directors exemplified his passionate commitment to music, education, and civil rights. And now, through the establishment of the Dennis Ortwein Memorial Scholarship, his 90-year legacy will continue well into the future.

The Dennis Ortwein Scholarship Fund will provide annual awards totaling $2,500 to assist talented young musicians to advance their musical pursuits.

Additional contributions to this Scholarship Fund are most welcomed and will help increase the number of awards offered.


(Please designate the Dennis Ortwein Scholarship Fund)
OR BY CHECK TO F.A.Y.M. / P.O. Box 1993; Las Vegas, NV 89125-1993

(Contributions are fully tax deductible)

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