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St. Philip Neri Catholic School principal retires


By Alyssa Dalley-Schofield
Midwest City Beacon

Brenda Tener is again graduating from St. Philip Neri Catholic School.

The longtime principal is stepping down after leading her alma mater for nearly a decade. Tener plans to begin a new position with the Department of Catholic Education with the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

Tener has worked in education for 40 years with 27 of those in Catholic schools. She has been the principal at St. Philip Neri Catholic School since July2014. With plans to retire last year when her husband did, Tener decided to stay another year to help with the aftermath of COVID-19.

“I really anticipated retiring a year ago but with COVID and managing the federal money that was coming in and the problems, I just didn’t feel like I could leave yet. So, I wound up staying a year longer than had been in our plan just to make sure we got the school on the right footing when COVID let up,” said Tener.

Tener taught public education at previous schools and at the University of Oklahoma for 14 years. 

“I taught at another catholic school for 18 years before I came here and then I’ve been here for nine years so my teaching career in the Catholic schools was at a different Catholic school. I taught a couple years public right out of college and knew public school wasn’t where I wanted to be,” said Tener. 

Having gone to and graduated from St. Philip Neri herself, Tener attests to the impact of Catholic education on herself and her three children that received Catholic education. 

“The impact catholic education can have on children, I’ve watched it time and again and I by no means want to place any negativity on public schools by saying that but I have watched children that have come here from public schools from very large environments that are struggling and they come here and our school has transformed them,” said Tener.

Tener praises her staff and faculty for supporting her and providing great educational opportunities to St. Philip Neri students.

“We have amazing faculty here. They are so committed to the children, and they work so hard to make sure that every child progresses at the highest rate they can progress,” said Tener.

Tener plans to continue providing her knowledge and experiences for Catholic education at the Department of Catholic Education. 

“I’ll be working in the central office part time so it won’t take up all of my time. It’s some skills that I have acquired having worked in catholic schools for 27 years and I’m going to share that with the Catholic Schools Office,” said Tener.

Corky McMullen has been hired as the new principal at St. Philp Neri. He previously worked as a teacher and basketball coach at Midwest City High School.

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