Deputy Superintendent Brennick announces retirement
Posted on Mar 15, 2021
A few words with retiring Deputy Superintendent Michelle Brennick
In her 15th year with Northern Gateway Public Schools, Deputy Superintendent Michelle Brennick has announced her retirement, effective July 2021.
Superintendent Andrea offers sincere gratitude, on behalf of the Division, for the many years of exemplary service provided by Ms. Brennick to NGPS, as well as congratulations and best wishes on her pending retirement:
“Ms. Brennick’s contributions to NGPS have been many. Her role in creating a culture of trust in the school division while supporting a broad agenda for educational improvement has been significant. She has been responsible for the development of programs and initiatives that have redefined how staff and students engage in teaching and learning in NGPS. Her dedicated, focused approach has demonstrated the value of working from a base of excellence and integrity, each and every day."
Ms. Brennick began her education career in 1983 as a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University, in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. She migrated further east to Stephenville, Newfoundland for her first teaching position. After two years in Newfoundland, she returned to Nova Scotia, pursued further education and then travelled west to Alberta, teaching in several school divisions throughout the province. After serving as a school administrator in two schools in Calgary Catholic School District, she joined NGPS in 2006 as the Director of Learning Services where she oversaw the creation of the Division Learning Services Team, and envisioned the possibilities of 'what we could do to grow our achievement and success. She continued with the Division in the role of Assistant Superintendent and in 2008, secured the position of Deputy Superintendent of Schools, overseeing general operations and human resources, in addition to maintaining responsibility for Learning Services until an Assistant Superintendent was hired.
Throughout her tenure with Northern Gateway Public Schools, Michelle has always acted with the best interests of students and staff in mind, as is evidenced in the relationships she has built throughout our organization over the years. Superintendent Andrea laughs as he shares, "Michelle almost always begins her conversations with teachers, school administrators, school secretaries, the tech team, support staff members or central office staff with, 'How is your mother doing after her operation? How are your parents doing during COVID? Did you get an elk this weekend? How was your daughter-in-law's job interview? How was the wedding? How is your grandson doing? How are you doing?' She just knows these details because she always takes the time to ask. Her leadership is premised on being caring, taking an interest in her NGPS family, and being genuine."
In reflecting on leadership, Brennick shares, "Leadership has always been about relationships first, about changing how leaders interact with their people ... recognizing the magnitude of the role served by schools in society... knowing it's a team effort and that each member or group contributes knowledge, ideas and talents that make the whole far greater than the individual parts."
Brennick pauses and smiles, before declaring, with her usual passion and educator tone of intensity and commitment, "it's about ensuring that everyone can do their job so that the students whom we serve each day have the greatest opportunity for engagement and learning. The more passionate, competent and confident we are as educators, the greater the opportunity for our students to explore, to inquire, to create and discover, to broaden their understanding, and to make connections. Competence breeds achievement; achievement breeds success; success breeds confidence, and confidence, combined with all of the above, produces life-long learners who are the adults of tomorrow. As educators, we have a tremendous responsibility and significant influence on the growth, development, and success of the children in our schools; let's give them the best."
In closing, Deputy Superintendent Brennick expresses heartfelt appreciation for the opportunities she has had "with current and former students, school councils, staff and administration, the Superintendent's leadership team, my colleagues at Division Office, my technology, maintenance and transportation colleagues, and NGPS colleagues who have passed (but whose contributions were significant at both the school level and division level) to provide an education for our students that is curricular-focused, broad yet deep, forward-thinking and evolving. We are committed, as a collective, to providing our students with a safe, caring environment that is conducive to inspiration and possibilities.
It has been very rewarding to work with staff and administration in the division to develop programs that help remove barriers for students and provide ways for them to reach their potential. NGPS has many talented staff and it has been my privilege to work with them. I wish to thank the Board and administration for their confidence, trust and support over the past 15 years.”
When asked about her future plans, Michelle, with a sparkle in her eyes, shares that she looks forward to a bit of down time after she and her husband Pierre relocate back to southern Alberta, and closer to her adult twin children, their spouses, and her four grandchildren.
We wish Michelle the very best in her retirement and know that her presence and influence will be missed in Northern Gateway Public Schools.