Madison East High School will have its third principal in four school years starting this fall.
Current principal Brendan Kearney announced in an email to parents on Monday that he will not be returning for the 2021-22 school year. He was appointed director in February 2020 after serving on an interim basis since fall 2019 after former director Michael Hernandez took up a post in administration.
Kearney “has accepted a leadership role in another school district,” Superintendent Carlton Jenkins said in his own email. Kearney said his family was moving “to support my wife’s mother with terminal illness.”
Kearney also served at the school as a teacher and vice-principal.
East was largely closed to in-person learning during Kearney’s tenure as principal. Madison High Schools were the last in Dane County to welcome students again amid the COVID-19 pandemic when they began reopening to two half-days per student in late April.
Kearney faced most of the fallout from two high-profile incidents involving school staff. Business professor David Kruchten resigned in February 2020 after being indicted for placing hidden cameras in student hotel rooms during class trips. He should plead guilty to a federal charge of attempted production of child pornography.
A hidden camera was also found in January in the office of a high school coach, placed there to catch a guard suspected of sleeping on the job. An independent investigation has recommended that personnel involved in the incident be fired. District spokesman Tim LeMonds said Tuesday that “staff identified as directly involved in approving the camera installation were either already retired or since then.”