Dean took his first music teaching position in Clark, S.D., in 1962, and worked there for nine years as band director. During those nine years, he played in 11 different dance bands. In 1966, he received his masters in music degree from USD. In 1971, he accepted a job with the Aberdeen Public Schools as band director at Holgate Junior High and remained there for eight years. In 1976, Dean received a masters in School Administration Degree from NSU.
In 1979, he moved into the director of bands position at Aberdeen Central High School, and remained there for five years. In 1983, Dean was named the South Dakota Outstanding Bandmaster. In 1984, Dean assumed the position of assistant principal at Central High School, a role he held until his retirement in 2005. In 2003, Dean was elected to the South Dakota Musician's Hall of Fame, and in 2004, he received the distinguished administrator award from the South Dakota Music Educator's Association. He received the Distinguished Service award from the SDHSAA in 2005.
Friends, family and co-workers have initiated the development of an endowment in loving memory of Dean.
The Dean Kranhold Memorial Endowment is designed to honor Dean's dedication to the students of Aberdeen Public Schools, and his passion for their success. All gifts received by the Foundation in memory of Dean will be designated to this endowment.