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Two DHS Teachers Named County Teachers of Year

Two Palm Springs Unified teachers were surprised with a visit from Riverside County Supt. of Schools Dr. Judy White this morning to bring them the news that they have been selected as two of Riverside County's four Teachers of the Year.

Michelle Beyronneau, who teaches geometry at Desert Hot Springs High; and Dr. Brian McDaniel, director of bands at Painted Hills Middle School, are now vying for California Teacher of the Year honors.

Rancho Mirage Elementary's Rhonda Fort was a semi-finalist in the County Teacher of the Year competition. Beyronneau and McDaniel join Coachella Valley Unified's Edwin Detoya (Bobby Duke Middle School) and Jurupa Unified's Martha Rodriguez (Sunnyslope Elementary) as the County's 2018 Teachers of the Year.

McDaniel was raised in Desert Hot Springs, attended the public schools in the Palm Springs Unified School District, and is now in his second stint leading a music program in the district. Formerly the band director at Desert Hot Springs High School from 2006 to 2015, McDaniel has now sparked a new energy into the band and choir program at Painted Hills Middle School, named The Regiment. When he arrived in 2014, there were 75 students. Now, the tune is different with 250 students involved in the program—representing more than one-third of the entire student population and including every level of skill, socio-economic status, and background.

“The Regiment is a safety net to protect kids against the trials of middle school,” McDaniel said in his application. “I believe my greatest contribution is providing my students with hope.”

McDaniel earned a bachelor’s degree in music from California State University, Long Beach. He proceeded to receive a master’s degree in education from California State University, San Bernardino. In 2011, he completed his doctorate of educational leadership from the University of Redlands. He is a resident of Cathedral City.

It was the high school math teacher of Beyronneau’s mother that convinced her that she could actually go to college. Two generations later, her students are on the receiving end of her belief in their potential to succeed in school and in life. When applying for a teaching position within the district, 
Beyronneau researched the schools with the highest performing students, and promptly avoided them—focusing instead on positions where she could pour into students with the greatest socio-economic and academic needs.
“My greatest accomplishment in education is creating a safe space for my students—an eye in the center of their storm and helping them create a short or long term path to success.” Beyronneau shared in her application. “I love math, but I could be happy teaching anything. I don’t teach because of math. I teach because of students.”

Beyronneau graduated with a degree in mathematics from Creighton University in Nebraska. She earned a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Redlands. She is also a resident of Cathedral City.