By Joan Boiko
For the first time in Palm Springs Unified School District history, a District teacher has been named California State Teacher of the Year and is now vying for national honors.
Dr. Brian McDaniel, director of music at Painted Hills Middle School, has been named one of five California Teachers of the Year by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and will move forward as California’s state nominee for National Teacher of the Year. This is the first time a Riverside County Teacher of the Year has been chosen to represent California in the National Teacher of the Year since 2003 when Coachella Valley Unified’s Chauncey Veatch went on to be selected as National Teacher of the Year.
“We are so proud of Dr. McDaniel and the outstanding work he has done with our students, first at Desert Hot Springs High School and now at Painted Hills Middle School and Bella Vista Elementary Schools,” said PSUSD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Sandra Lyon. “Dr. McDaniel is a stellar example of our cadre of dedicated professionals who work tirelessly each and every day to do what’s best for our students. We are so excited that his talents and perseverance are being recognized in our County and State, and we know he will make our entire state very proud as our representative for National Teacher of the Year.”
Both McDaniel and Desert Hot Springs High math teacher Michelle Beyronneau were named two of the four Riverside County Teachers of the Year in May, the first time that PSUSD has had two District winners. Beyronneau was selected as one of the state’s semi-finalists in this year’s competition.
“On behalf of the Board of Education, I want to express our extreme pride and excitement over this wonderful announcement. We congratulate Dr. McDaniel on his outstanding accomplishment and honor. There is no doubt Dr. McDaniel will represent our District, the city of Desert Hot Springs, Riverside County and the state of California the way he serves his students, with humility, dignity and professionalism. We also want to congratulate Mrs. Beyronneau on being named a semi-finalist for the state. She is another example of the phenomenal educators we have in Palm Springs Unified. We sincerely thank and salute both Dr. McDaniel and Mrs. Beyronneau for their dedication and commitment to their students and the teaching profession.”
“To have two of the four Riverside County Teachers of the Year in our District is an amazing honor,” said Lyon. “And to have both of our candidates be recognized at the state level – among nearly 300,000 teachers across California, is just incredible. What an honor for our District, the city of Desert Hot Springs and Riverside County!”
“I extend my warmest congratulations to Dr. Brian McDaniel for being named a California Teacher of the Year and for exhibiting the grit and commitment to education for all his students at Painted Hills Middle School. We are honored that he will represent the nearly 20,000 educators in Riverside County and all of California in the National Teacher of the Year competition later this year,” said Riverside County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Judy D. White. “For the third year in a row, we are excited that the state has recognized from Riverside County a California State Teacher of the Year as well as a state finalist, Edwin Detoya from Coachella Valley Unified and state semi-finalist, Michelle Beyronneau from Palm Springs Unified,.”
McDaniel and Beyronneau will be recognized at the state level at a Sacramento banquet in February. The National Teacher of the Year will be announced in April, 2018.
Joan Boiko is the Coordinator of Communications and Community Outreach for the Palm Springs Unified School District. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (760) 416-6010.