U.S. Rep. Max Rose honored a Dyker Heights legend in Washington recently.
On Sept. 30, Rose paid tribute on the floor of the House of Representatives to Madeleine Brennan, the longtime principal of Dyker Heights I.S. 201, who died April 8.
Brennan was the longest-serving principal in New York City, and perhaps the entire country, when she retired in 2013. She was appointed principal in 1963 after 17 years as a public school teacher.
“I rise today to honor the life and memory of Mrs. Madeleine Brennan, a legend in Dyker Heights and a testament to the idea that great schools begin with great leaders,” Rose said. “She loved her job so much that even when her pension and 401k meant that she could make more money in retirement, she kept on working.
“That passion inspired many of her students to not only become teachers themselves, but to return to Dyker Heights Intermediate School to work on her staff. Mrs. Brennan passed away this past April, but her legacy lives on in the thousands of lives she influenced over the years. She will be dearly missed.”
Shortly after Brennan’s death, Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of the New York Building Congress, spoke to this paper about her impact on the neighborhood.
“She was one of the first educators and principals in her day to really become community minded and community focused,” Scissura said. “She fought to build the library branch on 13th Avenue … She was active at events, parades, community groups and cleanups. She really epitomized community education and was a mentor. Dozens of principals across the country worked for her and got their start with her.”