The award is presented by the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents at an annual banquet. The award was officially given to McDaniel during an awards banquet in Gatlinburg on Sept. 9.
McDaniel had been one of eight finalists chosen from out of 135 school system leaders across the state.
McDaniel will be Tennessee’s candidate for the 2013 National Superintendent of the Year award, which will be presented at the American Association of School Administrators National Conference on Education next year.
“This doesn’t happen often in a school district,” Bradley County Board of Education Chairman Charlie Rose said.
Rose said this was the first time he could remember a Bradley County director of schools winning the award.
Rose said he was proud of the recognition.
“We appreciate how you live your live and how you support our schools,” board member Troy Weathers said. “I hope you’re around for a very, very long time.”
Weathers said the school system is fortunate to have McDaniel leading it.
The excellence award is given based on leadership for learning, communication, professionalism and community development. Applications were judged by a panel of judges made up of past and present school superintendents, state department staff and at-large members.
“I have observed Mr. McDaniel’s leadership on our board. His presence on our board has conveyed a voice of reason with a calming effect in a time of adversity. Without question, his skill set as a leader has been a valuable to the board and our organization,” TOSS executive director Keith Brewer said in a letter to the Bradley County board chairman.
“It’s just wonderful to work with such great educators,” McDaniel said.
He said he has enjoyed seeing the expansion and new programs that have been implemented.
Teachers, board members and staff present showed their support for their leader by giving him a standing ovation when Rose announced the award.