McKINNEY (Nov. 11, 2014) — Rick McDaniel, former principal of McKinney Boyd High School and current Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, has been chosen as the lone finalist for Superintendent of McKinney ISD by the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees. The decision was approved at the Board’s regular Work Study meeting Tuesday night.
The Board launched its search for a new superintendent in September when Dr. J.D. Kennedy, who has served as superintendent for the past five years, announced his plan to retire at the end of December. After considering a number of candidates, the Board found Kennedy’s successor among the leadership already in place in McKinney ISD.
“The Board felt that Rick McDaniel was the perfect fit for this position and for McKinney ISD,” said Board President Amy Dankel. “He is a strong and capable leader. We believe the district is headed in the right direction and that he is equipped as a leader to take us to the next level.
“We were focused on selecting an individual with a proven background as an academic leader, and Mr. McDaniel understands not only the strengths of our district, but also areas for improvement,” Dankel said.
Kennedy was pleased with the Board’s choice. “Naming Rick McDaniel as a finalist indicates to the community the commitment of the board to the vision and mission of this school district. Rick McDaniel is a proven leader. I am very confident that he will continue to move this district forward in a positive direction.”
McDaniel was a 20-year veteran of public education when he came to McKinney ISD in 2006 to serve as principal of the newly-constructed McKinney Boyd High School, and he approached the job with an emphasis on promoting high academic standards and cultivating a strong school culture that would foster learning and a sense of safety for every student.
He was responsible for staffing and opening McKinney Boyd, and much of that school’s noteworthy success across its broad spectrum of academics, fine arts and athletics programs can be traced to his leadership. During his eight years as principal of McKinney Boyd, the school’s TAKS scores, ACT and SAT scores, completion rate and, most recently, STAAR scores have been among the best in the District. The sea of banners that hangs proudly above the expansive student cafeteria testify not only to the success of McKinney Boyd in academic, athletic and fine arts competition but also to the great sense of school pride that McDaniel helped establish.
McDaniel began his education career nearly three decades ago as a teacher and coach in Tyler ISD. During his time in Tyler, McDaniel rose steadily through the ranks of leadership, serving first as the science department chair of Tyler Lee High School where he taught physics and physical science and coached football and baseball. In 1997, McDaniel became an assistant principal at Tyler Lee High School, and only two years later was named principal of Hogg Middle School. In 2003, McDaniel returned to Tyler Lee to serve as principal, and in the two years under his leadership, Tyler Lee High School raised TAKS scores across all areas and nearly doubled its Advanced Placement (AP) passing rate.
McDaniel is committed to excellence in every aspect of students’ educational experience, and his leadership has been recognized by state and national organizations. During his years at McKinney Boyd, McDaniel received the Distinguished Leader Award from the Science Teachers Association of Texas, the Distinguished Administrator Award from the Texas Music Educators Association and the 2013 National Thespian Award for Administrative Support in the area of Theatre.
The community should not expect any change in that commitment to excellence as McDaniel moves into his new role. “I want to assure our stakeholders that our vision and mission of excellence, in all that we do, will not change under my leadership,” said McDaniel. “The bar has been set extremely high in MISD, and that will most certainly continue to be the case during my tenure. I will be out meeting members of the community to discuss their expectations and desires for our school system. Additionally, I will be meeting with our campus leaders and their respective staffs to assure them that I believe our district is currently moving in the right direction, and I intend to keep it that way.”
In January 2014, McDaniel took on a broader leadership role as assistant superintendent of student services where he has overseen the District’s secondary school principals and programs such as College and Career Readiness, Advanced Academics, Gifted and Talented, Counseling and Student Support among others.
The broad range of experience accumulated over nearly three decades of service in public education has prepared McDaniel for the next step. “I have served as middle school teacher, coach, high school physics teacher, science department chair, high school assistant principal, middle school principal, high school principal of two large high schools, and currently serve as Assistant Superintendent for Student Services. Each of these unique experiences has provided opportunities to develop new skill sets and implement new initiatives supporting student success. Opening McKinney Boyd High School eight years ago allowed me the opportunity of a lifetime. Establishing a vision for the campus, developing a mission for success, and ultimately seeing the mission through are all skills that have prepared me for the role of the Superintendent,” said McDaniel.
“The opportunity to address the upcoming challenges that McKinney presents in terms of student population growth, academic requirements and school funding challenges are all areas that I look forward to tackling. I am excited for this opportunity and feel blessed to continue serving the city that I have learned to love over the past decade,” said McDaniel.
McDaniel holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Stephen F. Austin University, a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Tyler and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of North Texas, which he is scheduled to complete next month.
For additional information on McKinney ISD, contact Shane Mauldin, MISD Communications Coordinator, at 469-302-4007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 mckinneyisd.net.