Cassandra J. Brennan may have been born in Princeton, N.J., but since 2001 she has made New York — where she currently lives with husband Tom — her home. And it doesn’t look like she’ll be leaving the city anytime soon; she truly loves Brooklyn.
“Brooklyn Bridge Park brings together the best of old and new Brooklyn,” Brennan says as she speaks about her favorite place. “There is family fun, volleyball for single people, music, great food, and the best close-up view of the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan.”
“Brooklyn has been a cultural generator for all things creative since the turn of the last century,” she continues. “Food, music, and art from around the world make it a place that’s always satisfying. Add an honest, practical heart, and you’ll never find its match in the world.”
Brennan left the rat race that is the private sector and is now an assistant principal at PS 215 — and she couldn’t be happier.
“Cassandra’s love of life and learning is reflected in the enthusiasm she develops in her students. She is always seeking new ways to inspire them and to show them there are many life lessons to be learned both in and out of the classroom,” says friend Regina Andriolo.
“I support the academic and socio-emotional development of a wonderful and diverse community in Gravesend,” says the Woman of Distinction. “There is an amazing faculty and staff who I support in their diligent efforts to provide a nurturing learning environment for these amazing children.”
She continues, “With the vision of principal Dr. Antonella Bove and the teamwork of my colleague, assistant principal Ellen Resnick, we create a loving place to learn at PS 215.”
It makes sense that someone who works for the New York City Department of Education would have quite the education herself.
“I have a Bachelors in Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Masters of Science in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Fordham University, and a Masters in Educational Leadership from New England College,” she says.
Helping children grow up to be the best version of themselves is Brennan’s main focus.
“The number of young people I have assisted in preparing for a bright future is what I am most proud of,” she said.
Of course, loving one’s job does not mean that there are no difficulties. She finds that “juggling everyone’s needs and still performing quality work” is no easy task.
“Always consider how your decisions impact those around you,” says Brennan, who notes that the required education and a “willingness to work hard” will set you up for success as an educator or administrator.
It seems that Brennan has much in common with her aunt, the woman she most admires.
“My aunt overcame the limitations of the time to become a published author, noted gerontologist, and named one of the top 200 scientists of the century,” she shares. It seems that strong, smart women run in the family.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Bath Beach.
OCCUPATION: Assistant principal.
COMPANY: New York City Department of Education.
CLAIM TO FAME: Imparting a love of learning to Brooklyn students.
FAVORITE BROOKLYN PLACE: Brooklyn Bridge Park.
WOMAN I ADMIRE: My aunt, Dr. Lorraine Boykin, who dedicated her life to education and science, helping countless people and positively contributing to the future.
MOTTO: Be proud of what you do and how you treat the people in your life.