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Laverman, Brennan retire after a combined 60 years at Brophy

By Mason Smith ’11
The Roundup

Photo by Josh Zillwood ’10 - Mrs. Mary Laverman and Mr. Dave Brennan stand in a courtyard at Brophy College Prep as the year comes to an end.

This May, Mrs. Mary Laverman and Mr. Dave Brennan will be stepping down as Brophy teachers after a combined 60 years of experience.

Both will be retiring, Brennan after 35 years of teaching Latin and Laverman after 25 years of teaching Latin.

“I always get emotionally attached to them (students) and they have brought my life such meaning and purpose,” Mrs. Laverman said.

No longer will there be “Chicken Soup for the Soul” readings on Monday mornings in Mrs. Laverman’s class.

No more of Mr. Brennan’s sense of humor, according to Principal Mr. Bob Ryan, and no more seeing him as a familiar face at Brophy concerts.

Mr. Lloyd Daggett came to Brophy in 1992 and has known Mr. Brennan and Mrs. Laverman both on personal and professional levels.

To him they serve as “legendary iconic figures” and he said he believes that they are “irreplaceable works of art.”

“They both served as a mentor to me. I use them as a resource, support and they are both helping friends,” Mr. Daggett said, who currently teaches Latin I and Spanish.

Fellow Brophy faculty members and their students said they will miss both teachers.

Mr. Brennan has taught many students over the years; some are even now current Brophy teachers. Mr. Andy Schmidbauer ’88, who currently teaches Spanish, had Mr. Brennan for three years during his time as a student.

“He is one of the most intelligent people that I have ever known, and his intelligence, quick wit and humor will be missed in our department and on our campus,” Mr. Schmidbauer said in an e-mail interview.

Mr. Brennan and Mrs. Laverman have also taught countless Xavier students.

“I enjoyed Mrs. Laverman’s class because of the ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ readings every morning, and how she would sing us Latin songs,” said Xavierite Sydney Hawes ’11.

More than 50 people applied for the Latin positions, according to Mr. Ryan.

“I know that no one is indispensible and life goes on,” Mrs. Laverman said. “I am very confident in the new Latin teacher’s abilities and know that she will do a fabulous job.”

Mr. Brennan, who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Villanova and a Master of Arts from the University of Missouri, is currently teaching Latin III and Latin IV.

He also is a beginning guitar teacher and helps with the Brophy Jazz Combo.

He also likes to ride his horses in addition to teaching at Brophy, according to Mr. Daggett.

Mrs. Laverman earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hope College and attended the University of Nebraska Omaha for advanced studies.

She currently teaches Latin I and Latin II and is also involved in Wounded Healers, which is a grief support group for students mourning the loss of a family member.

“We will never fully replace the experience and expertise that Mary and Dave have brought to our department, but I know that they have left a deep impression on me, and have helped shape me as a student and a teacher,” Mr. Schmidbauer said.

For a combined 60 years, Mrs. Laverman and Mr. Brennan have been committed to their teaching here at Brophy. And now they will have more free time to spend with family and friends.

“I am going to have a lot more free time to spend with my husband and grandchildren. I will also have time to do more reading and perhaps some volunteering,” Mrs. Laverman said.

When asked about what it will feel like to leave Brophy after 35 years, Mr. Brennan said he had mixed emotions.

“I think it will involve a mixture of sadness, because Brophy has been my home for 35 years; but I am also excited by the thought of doing something different,” he said.

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