Principal Of Robert E. Lee High School Resigns - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Principal Of Robert E. Lee High School Resigns

Rick McDaniel will tell you he's probably had some hard days as the top decision-maker at Robert E. Lee, but announcing his resignation Wednesday was probably toughest. "A lot of tears," says McDaniel describing the atmosphere after announcing the news to his staff. "So many things have happened. My daughter was born in 1990 and I was teaching science in one of these rooms. So never in a million years did I think I'd be principal at this school at the time."
"Selfishly I'm extremely sad," says Susan Cothern, the Early Childhood Professions teacher at Lee. Cothern was on the committee that hired McDaniel to be the school's principal two and a half years ago. She calls him a great leader, but says his biggest asset is his love for the students. "He's been real positive about a program called 'Capturing Kids Hearts.' He has taught all of us that if we don't capture their hearts you can't capture their minds," says Cothern.
"He really knew how to talk to people. He really made me and the other freshman feel comfortable," says 9th grader Jose Martinez.
"I was sad, he's been here for a long time. I thought he was going to be here for more," says 11th grader Alma Pinal.
While McDaniel has seen the school through a state football championship, AP scores tripling and continued increases on TAKS scores, one regret is that he won't be there to see Lee become an exemplary school. "I think it will be the lighthouse school that the district wants it to be. I'm not bitter with anything here at TISD. I wasn't looking for a job. This one kind of came to me and it's a situation where God tells me this is where I need to be and so I'm going to follow his lead. On his path, McDaniels says it's the relationships he's built with everyone in the TISD family that will help build new traditions in McKinney.
January 4th is when McDaniel will begin as principal at McKinney Boyd High School. He has to leave mid-semester to hire staff and have the high school ready for the fall 2006 semester.

Christine Nelson reporting.

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