Kent settles into new role as YME Middle/High School Principal

Jessica Stölen-Jacobson
Granite Falls Advocate Tribune
Brennan Kent

Brennan Kent is settling into his new role as Yellow Medicine East’s new Middle/High School Principal. Kent grew up in Benson, and currently resides a few miles outside of Benson. He says his desire to join the staff at Yellow Medicine East stems from a desire to be included within a sole district. “In my last position, I served seven different school districts and I was looking to be more integrated with the student body, the staff, the community. I wanted those interactions I was missing in my last role. That ties into a cultural piece, in that I didn’t have an opportunity to influence a school culture near as much as I hope to in this position,” Kent says.  Kent comes into the role at YME after serving as the Director of Special Education for the Southwest West Central Service Cooperative out of Marshall.

Kent’s desire to work in the education field stems from a passion for education. “It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for some time. That’s why I pursued my undergraduate and other certificates in education first and foremost. I’m a huge fan of anything education, and I think that educational leadership is really something I’m passionate about,” he says. Another factor in his decision to apply for this position was the strong leaders he was exposed to early in his teaching years. “I really connected with some of those strong individuals,” he says. “They piqued my interest to explore it more and to go to school again and get my licensure. With this position, I get to work with parents, I get to work with the community and I get to work with students and staff. I think the variety it brings, the amount of chances you have to be influential in a variety of those groups… you can be a positive impact on a variety of people on a daily basis. It’s challenging. I think that’s why I like it because you never know what’s going to happen day-to-day.”

Starting out, Kent says he doesn’t have any major plans for implementing changes except for some discussions that have been had about process changes. “My goal has been, since I started, just to connect with students, staff, and families in any way possible. My first and foremost priority here is relationships, and I would say that’s going to carry on for some time as my initiative. I will be working to continue my understanding of all the district processes, expanding my relationships that I’ve made, and continuing to meet people and grow those relationships. There won’t be any drastic changes. Especially with the challenges of the last one and a half school years, I think everyone needs some time to settle in and that includes students, staff and just getting into our routines coming off the summer and a very challenging year last school year,” he says.

Kent carries a variety of educational degrees and licensure, having first earned his Bachelors Degree in Elementary Inclusive Education from Moorehead State University. During that time he also earned Special Education licensure in Emotional Behavioral Disorders, Specific Learning Disabilities, and Developmental Disabilities. He then returned to Moorehead University where he earned his Masters in Special Education, and later a Specialist Degree with licensure for K-12 Principal and Director of Special Education. 

Kent lives in rural Benson with his wife (also named Brennan), their five-year-old child Bria, and their three-year-old child, Grady. “We’re pretty boring I would say,” he jokes. “I like hanging out with family in pretty much any free time I have. That’s what I want to be doing is hanging out with them, going biking, hanging out throwing a ball around the yard, spending time with family and friends. That’s what we’re all about.”

 Kent is looking forward to a successful school year, saying, “I’m really happy and excited to be here. I truly have been impressed with all the students I’ve had interactions with, all the staff I’ve met here, all of the parents and families. I’m excited to be here.”