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President Brennan Receives Leadership Award

President Brennan Receives Leadership Award

President Michael Brennan was honored on Sunday, April 28, as the 2024 recipient of the MINNDEPENDENT Leadership Award in the 9-12 category. Recipients of this award are nominated by their peers and selected by a MINNDEPENDENT selection committee.

A picture of the president of the school leaning on the desk

The MINNDEPEDENT Leadership Award recognizes school leaders whose hard work and dedication instill passion in the people they work with, bring innovative ideas forward, and advocate for the importance of private and independent education in Minnesota.

While the foundational mission of Holy Family Catholic High School has remained the same, the school has experienced significant growth, program advancements, organizational improvements, and public recognition under President Brennan’s leadership that include:

  • Increased student enrollment: 383 to 560, a 46% increase since 2018
  • The introduction of a full-time school chaplain
  • Recipient of the 2024 National Blue Ribbon School Award
  • Additions to student curricular and co-curricular programming: May Term, Business, Esports, and International Student programs
  • The advent of Fire Food Services
  • Advancements in employee compensation
  • Refinancing of the school’s debt 
  • Establishment of the Holy Family Catholic High School Foundation Endowment Fund
  • Campus capital improvements include but are not limited to a new front entrance and courtyard, new LED lighting, turf athletic field and stadium upgrades, bus lobby renovation, reorganization and/or updating of multiple interior spaces such as the school chapel, main office, admissions office, activities office, locker rooms, school counseling office, school store, and concessions.
  • Changes to the school’s internal organizational structure for improved clarity and efficiency, including the introduction of new roles such as Assistant Principal for Student Life, Assistant Principal for Academics, and Director of Facilities
  • Successful navigation of the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Expanded and enhanced partnerships with Catholic elementary schools

These initiatives, aimed at strengthening the school internally and generating long-term sustainability, support Holy Family in its never-ending pursuit of providing students with a best-in-class high school experience. 

Reflecting on his selection as a 2024 MINNDEPENDENT Leadership Award recipient, President Brennan said, “Accepting this leadership award is a profound honor, one that reflects the collaborative spirit and commitment of our Holy Family community. While deeply humbled by this honor, no one leads alone. This award is shared with the many committed and mission-driven members of our HFCHS family who place students at the center of everything they do and every decision they make."

President Brennan holds a bachelor's degree from Boston College and two master's degrees from the University of Notre Dame. His experience before taking the helm at Holy Family Catholic High School includes four years in the classroom as a Catholic educator, five years as a Catholic school principal in Phoenix, AZ, and six years as Director of Rochester Catholic Schools in Rochester, MN.

He and his wife, Denae, are Catholic school parents with four children who attend St. Therese School in Deephaven. 

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