Dennis Wong, beloved fifth-grade teacher and colleague, passed away on June 10, 2023. His career with the district spanned more than 30 years, all of which he served at Franklin Avenue ES in Los Feliz.

Dennis was the epitome of a highly effective educator. Prior to becoming a teacher, he worked as a T.A., where he gained invaluable classroom experience. He also was considered the lead T.A. with respect to supervising students on the yard and at lunch, and was instrumental in establishing norms and routines that continue to this day.

In the mid-1990s he decided to become a teacher, and was accepted into the District Intern program. Then-principal Dr. Verna B. Dauterive was careful to keep Dennis at Franklin, and so he completed the D.I. program as a Franklin teacher. It was no surprise that Dennis received the Golden Apple Award for being the top of his D.I. cohort, an honor he was especially proud of. 

Wendy Perez, second-grade teacher and longtime colleague, says the following about Dennis: “What always impressed me the most, in addition to his unmatchable penmanship (!) and creativity, what made Mr. Wong unique in my world, was his dedication to everything he took on. He was a model educator, unforgettable to his peers and hundreds of students. He brought his A-game to everything he did. There was nothing he expected from his students or peers that he wasn’t doing or willing to do himself. And still he managed to be caring and warm and accepting. He understood and appreciated what the rest of us could bring to the table.”

The Franklin community at large is devastated by his passing. Countless students and families have posted tributes to Mr. Wong on a board set up by the Friends of Franklin organization. They remember him as an outstanding, caring, fun-loving teacher who made fifth grade a very special and memorable experience. The outpouring of love is a reflection of the impact he had as a teacher, colleague, and friend.

Dennis left us far too soon, but his legacy will live on through the work we will continue to do and the high standards we will continue to uphold at Franklin. He is survived by his adoring wife, Debbie Hasuike, a first-grade teacher at Franklin; brother Dave Wong; and mother Holly Wong.