Bay Ridge education icon remembered

Director Madeleine Brennan receives the award from State Senator Chris Mega. Eagle Urban Media / photo file

Soon the local high school will bear the name of the principal who has run it for half a century.

The IS 201 Dyker Heights Intermediate School will be renamed Madeleine Brennan School, it was announced Tuesday.

Brennan was hired in 1963 and was the city’s longest-serving director when she retired in 2013. She died in April 2020 at the age of 93.

After Brennan retired, Penny Santa, president of the Liberty Kiwanis Club in Brooklyn, spearheaded attempts to rename the school.

“I started collecting signatures and disseminating information, so today I am happy to fulfill a promise to my old friend, who is over 30 years old,” Santa said.

Madeleine Brennan Eagle Urban Media / photo file

Shortly after Brennan’s death, State Senator Andrew Gunardes and Council member Justin Brennan wrote letters to District 20 to seek a name change.

“We can all agree that she deserves the honor of this school that bears her name, and all current and future classes that pass through the doors of IS 201 should be able to know that name well,” Brennan said during the announcement.

“Madeleine Brennan has given so much of her life and her time to IS 201,” Gunardes said. “It’s entirely appropriate that we rename it in her honor.”

Current director Robert Seula called Brennan a teacher and friend and said it was a great honor for him to be involved in the renaming campaign.

Madeleine Brennan with State Senator Marty Golden after retiring in 2013. Eagle Urban Media / Photo File

“I look forward to being part of the ribbon-cutting festival and continuing her vision of leadership and academic success,” Sula said.

Dr David Preta, county head, said: “Mrs. Brennan has led the development of countless students, staff and future leaders of the school system. District 20 is proud to welcome Madeleine Brennan School. ”

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