Dyker Heights

Legendary educator’s name will live forever

September 28, 2022 Jaime DeJesus
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I.S. 201 now bears the name of the woman who led it for 50 years.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Sept. 24 outside the newly renamed Madeleine Brennan School at 8010 12th Ave.

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

Principal Madeleine Brennan receives an award from state Sen. Chris Mega. Eagle Urban Media/file photo

The school band and recent alumni performed during the celebration. Speakers included Schools Chancellor David C. Banks; District 20 Superintendent Dr. David Pretto; U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis; state Sen. Andrew Gounardes; Assemblymember Peter Abbate and Councilmember Justin Brannan.

Robert Ciulla, the school’s principal, and Joseph Lacascia, who worked with Brennan for 44 years, also attended the ceremony.

The school band and recent alumni perform during the ceremony. Photo courtesy of Councilmember Justin Brannan Facebook

“I am so grateful to have been part of this historical event,” Ciulla told this paper. “Mrs. Brennan was a true leader and inspiration.”

“She was a trailblazer, an inspiration to students and women at a time when there were not many female principals,” Malliotakis said.

Elected officials and I.S. 201 faculty members cut the ribbon in front of the Madeleine Brennan School. Photo courtesy of Councilmember Justin Brannan Facebook

Penny Santo, president of the Liberty Kiwanis Club of Brooklyn, spearheaded the effort to rename the school when Brennan retired. Gounardes and Brannan wrote letters to District 20 to push for the name change when Brennan died.

The new name was approved in February.

“It was a true honor to help bring this to fruition,” Brannan said.

“Mrs. Brennan guided the development of countless students, staff and future school system leaders,” Pretto said in February. “District 20 is proud to welcome the Madeleine Brennan School.”

Councilmember Justin Brannan speaks at the ceremony. Eagle Urban Media/photos by Arthur De Gaeta

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