Current principal announces she will stay, set example

Holt High School will no longer be looking for a new principal. Current principal Rachael McDaniel has decided to stay at Holt, after announcing in March that she would resign at the end of the school year.

McDaniel had planned to return to Baldwin County to spend time with her family, but she has since changed her mind.

“I just came to the realization that I had these students that need me, this community needs me,” she said. “I mean, they’d be fine without me, but I tell them not to quit and to finish things all the time, and I needed to set
the example for them.”

According to an article the Tuscaloosa News published in March at the time of McDaniel’s announcement of resignation, she wanted to be able to return home to spend time with her daughter and family. Her daughter attends Auburn University – where McDaniel received her doctorate in education – and visits her grandparents on the weekends. McDaniel said she felt homesick, despite enjoying her time as principal since January 2014.

The Tuscaloosa News reported the recent announcement that McDaniel will return for the next school year, and McDaniel told reporters that her change of heart came when she was watching a Holt basketball game.

“When I knew God was speaking to me was in Montgomery when I was watching D (a Holt High student) play a basketball game in the state championship,” she told the Tuscaloosa News. “You guys know that D lost his mom
when he was young, just like I did. As I watched him play that game, I watched the heart and soul that he showed. I could see the tears in his eyes and I watched him get stronger and stronger instead of giving up.”

That confirmed what she was feeling.

“I thought, ‘Here’s this 19-year-old kid, and he’s not giving up, but you’re giving up. You can’t persevere,’” McDaniel told the Tuscaloosa News. “Then I thought about what the word ‘home’ meant. Is home a place? No, it’s the people that you love. It’s the people that you care about.”

McDaniel also cites her great relationships with colleagues in the Tuscaloosa County School System as an additional reason to stay.

Since McDaniel started at Holt, the school has undergone multiple changes, including indoor renovations, such as bright paint colors. McDaniel has also started a night school, distributed eReaders and laptops to students, and increased the number of advanced placement classes from zero to five, the Tuscaloosa News reported. The school has also added soccer, track and cross country teams..

Categories: Archives