A superintendent without peer
To the editor:
I just learned my good friend Tom Brennan has died. I have given a lot of eulogies through the years and regrettably I will not be able to offer my condolences to the Brennan family in person.
Tom and I go way back to the time when he was practicing his art in the Monadnock region schools and then superintendent of Kearsarge and finally of Manchester schools. He almost came to ConVal, but failed to apply on time, which was Manchester school’s good fortune.
Through the years my problem was that Tom was always two steps ahead of me and the rest of the educational fraternity. We didn’t really challenge each other, but he had a nice way of telling me I needed guidance and took the time to explain that I didn’t know what I was talking about.
As often happens, his vision got in the way of change. When he lost the debate, it seemed to me he swallowed hard, accepted reality and moved on. He knew education is blighted by politics and personal bias, and Tom knew how the game is played.
I always felt he didn’t manage schools, he managed school boards. He knew what was wrong and how to make things happen to make it right. I bet he wished he had come to ConVal. But I think he wanted to bring his ideas forward and Manchester was a good place to do it. He should have written a primer for superintendents.
With Tom’s passing, education lost one of its finest leaders and one of its most skilled technicians. He was successful everywhere he went because he cared about people.