AP NEWS

Education official, songwriter named group’s Kansans of Year

December 25, 2019 GMT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A group dedicated to preserving and promoting Kansas history has named a longtime state education official and a country music singer-songwriter as its 2019 Kansans of the Year.

The Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas plans to honor Deputy Education Commissioner Dale Dennis and Nicolle Galyon during a Jan. 24 banquet in Topeka.

Dennis is state government’s leading expert on public school funding and has worked as an administrator at the State Department of Education for 52 years. He joined the department in 1967 after working as a high school teacher and principal in Linn County in eastern Kansas.

He grew up in northern Bourbon County, where his father owned a gas station.

Galyon is a native of Sterling in Rice County and has written songs for acts including Lady Antebellum, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban. She’s won country music awards for a hit song for Lambert, “Automatic.”