Meet the CSO: Clint McDaniel
June 06, 2022
The GVSU Charter Schools Office is excited to welcome Clint McDaniel to the team as its newest School Consultant. Clint will support several schools and school boards located around metro Detroit.
Prior to joining the GVSU Charter Schools Office, Clint spent more than 25 years working in K-12 schools in Inkster and Dearborn Heights serving families in those communities and all across Detroit. Much of his experience is related to being a key resource and advocate for students, helping reduce conflict and enhance the learning environment.
Clint's passion for helping others stems from the memorable experiences he had with his teachers when he was a child.
He first became interested in education after feeling inspired by his elementary teachers, who consistently encouraged him to believe he could succeed at anything he set his mind to. "I remember my 6th-grade teacher had me thinking I could be the President of the United States," he said. "As I child, I saw education as being the vehicle to get me there and empower others."
Clint also noted that the teachers in his early years stood out to him because of how closely connected they were with the kids and families they supported. To him, it felt unique to have educators who lived in the same community where they taught, giving kids the chance to see the impact they had outside of school as well. "I looked up to them. They were positive people. They were contributors to the community and were great examples of what everybody in the community should strive to be like."
That impact is what motivated Clint to remain close to his roots and follow the example that those teachers set before him.
After graduating from the University of Michigan, Clint returned to his childhood community to work with youth, particularly on behavior improvement and showing kids how to be better contributors in their educational environment. As a lifelong athlete, trainer, and coach, Clint used his experiences in sports to help kids have breakthrough moments of understanding. "My goal is for kids to grow up better than me, and take my knowledge and move it even further," he said.
That passion for helping others improve also made Clint a critical resource that families could turn to at any time. It is not uncommon for parents to knock on his door or call him at all hours of the day, looking for answers to questions about schools or resources that could help their child.
"The community needs an education system that serves them around the clock," he said. "That kind of thinking also aligns to a bit of what charter schools are all about. In general, the more offerings and resources we can have, the better. Everybody is different, everybody's genius is different, so the more things we can create to cultivate all of the young people coming up, then we are really serving everyone."
As he prepares to work with school board members, Clint’s biggest piece of advice is for boards to understand that conflict is natural and shouldn’t necessarily be avoided. “Conflict is going to happen. How we deal with conflict determines how we perform,” he said. “To be able to resolve conflict and disagreement in a positive way is a key to governance success. And even if you disagree, understand that your emotions should not overshadow the voice and decisions of the board.”