McKINNEY (Feb. 6, 2015) — Thad Helsley, McKinney Chamber of Commerce member and president of A.M. Scott Real Estate Inc., stood before more than 400 community members and business leaders on Friday, Jan. 30 at the Chamber’s annual Best of the Best Community Awards Celebration and introduced this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Business of the Year Award.

“It might come as a surprise that the recipient of the award is not technically a business,” Helsley told the audience. “[But], the award winner tonight is one of the largest employers in McKinney. It is a multi-million [dollar] organization whose work has a lasting impact on our community and beyond. Although it is not a business, it operates with high business standards. And the impact it has on businesses in our area is the quality of workforce that it produces year after year ... It is my distinct honor to recognize McKinney Independent School District as the Outstanding Business of the Year.”

McKinney ISD Superintendent Dr. Rick McDaniel, Board of Trustees President Amy Dankel, Board Secretary Lynn Sperry and Board member Stephanie O’Dell were on hand to accept the award on behalf of the District.

“We sincerely appreciate this honor,” McDaniel said later from his office at the McKinney ISD Central Administration Building, “and, we want to thank everyone with the City of McKinney and the McKinney Chamber of Commerce who chose McKinney ISD for this tremendous honor. We are pleased to live in a community that honors education and values what we do. On behalf of all of the teachers, faculty and staff members of McKinney ISD, we appreciate the support of the city and Chamber of Commerce.”

MISD serves more than 24,700 students at 31 campuses throughout the city with a workforce of 2,680 full time employees and approximately 40 part time employees. MISD is one of the largest employers in McKinney and the largest food service provider in McKinney.

Among the reasons cited for MISD’s selection, Helsley pointed to the District’s recent national attention from U.S. News & World Report who ranked all three MISD high schools in the top 2.6 percent of the country’s public high schools. He also noted recognition the District has received from prestigious organizations such as the American Institute of Architects, School Planning and Management Magazine, the American Association of Administrators and the National School Boards Association, among others, for innovative design and superior learning environments.

“Quality education for every student is a priority,” added Helsley. “In addition to innovative career and technical education programs such as aviation, which features an FAA-approved flight simulator, McKinney ISD offers a host of Advanced Placement courses as well as extracurricular opportunities that include championship sports teams and an award-winning fine arts program. McKinney ISD programs challenge and educate the whole student. Students are encouraged to explore areas of interest, develop social skills, become involved in extracurricular activities, be introduced to music, the arts and more.”

Chamber President Lisa Hermes said that the success of the district likely contributed to McKinney being chosen as the #1 Place to Live in America by Money Magazine in 2014.

“Money Magazine takes into account many factors that ensure the superior quality of life our businesses and residents are accustomed to – schools, housing and economy to name a few,” said Hermes. “McKinney is one of the most desirable places to live in the country because parents are eager to raise their kids here, knowing that they’ll be graduating with a stellar education.”

While the Chamber’s choice for Business of the Year may be outside the norm, it makes perfect sense to McDaniel. “At McKinney ISD, we see ourselves as a business in the sense that we provide a ‘product’ that we have to prepare to go out and serve society, and if we don’t do our job, like most businesses, we would fail. And we don’t intend to fail. We will produce students who go to college, who go out into the workforce and are successful. So, in that light we very much see ourselves as a business. We are in the kid business.”

For more on the McKinney Chamber of Commerce Best of the Best Community Awards Celebration, click here.

For additional information on McKinney ISD, contact Shane Mauldin, MISD Communications Coordinator, at 469-302-4007 or


About McKinney ISD

One of the fastest growing school districts in Texas, the McKinney Independent School District currently enrolls more than 24,750 students in 20 elementary schools, five middle schools, three high schools, four alternative schools and one early childhood education school. The mission of McKinney ISD, the champion for progressive learning throughout the diverse McKinney community, is to inspire and equip all students to explore, develop and express their unique potential as innovators, critical thinkers and collaborators through challenging, engaging and diverse learning experiences in vital partnership with the community. Visit the district's website at