BRYAN, Texas — It was a surprising Thursday morning at Mary Branch Elementary School where they highlighted their assistant principal Jennifer Brenner.
Brenner was named Assistant Principal of the Year, recognized by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association, or TEPSA. Bryan ISD board members, Mary Branch staff, friends, and even Brenner's mother Mrs. Janeth all gathered to surprise Brenner with the statewide award of recognition.
She was overwhelmed with tears of joy. After the tumultuous journey the education industry has endured because of the pandemic, this award was special.
"It just feels good to be appreciated. I can think of so many other people that are worthy of this award. I'm just glad to be recognized," said Brenner. "I did not know what all it entails and I just have so much more area to grow in I'm just very thankful to be recognized, to have our voices heard and to be an advocate for our students like all of us are here."
Amy Lively, who is the principal at Mary Branch orchestrated the entire surprise. Both Lively and Brenner went TESPA conference together where they thought of more ways to teach their students and adjust.
"It's great opportunity for us in the summer to get together and collaborate with other administrators from all over the state of Texas," said Lively. "She's been a vital piece in how we adapted during COVID."
Lively shared how Brenner is committed to their campus, stating "Everyday her sole purpose is to come to work and do what's best for kids and it's just been great to see throughout all the different changes."
She has been in the education field for two decades, but watching it transition in the blink of an eye makes her eager to keep learning as the industry constantly changes.
"She's bilingual, and being a bilingual campus, Julie has done a really good job working with our bilingual teachers so she's just a true advocate for our bilingual students," said Lively.
Now to a year full of joy.