Mater Dei High School will welcome a new president beginning Feb. 1, Diocese of Orange officials announced.
Michael P. Brennan will take over for Fr. Walter Jenkins, who was hired last year but has decided to return to South Bend, Indiana, to work with his religious order, the Congregation of Holy Cross.
Brennan has been president of St. Anthony High School in Long Beach since last year. Before that, he was principal of Servite High School in Anaheim for 15 years. Brennan was also president of the Trinity League and chairman of the CIF Southern Section Orange County League Placement.
“I am excited to return to Orange County and thrilled at the opportunity and promise of leading Mater Dei, one of our nation’s preeminent Catholic schools,” Brennan said. “Catholic education has always been pivotal in providing society with devout, ethical leaders and citizens of tomorrow. This classical form of education is necessary to maintain a culture of goodness not only locally, but also across our nation and world.”
Brennan takes over as the school wrestles with controversy stemming from a lawsuit alleging a hazing injury on the football team last February. He said he will continue overseeing an independent review of the school’s athletic program.
Brennan earned bachelor’s and master’s degree in sports medicine from Chapman University in Orange. He also earned teaching and administrative credentials at Chapman. His other related work experience includes teaching at Anaheim High School, serving as assistant principal at Western High School and principal of South Junior High Schools in the Anaheim Union High School District.