LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Brian McDaniel

Position: Director of Bands and Instrumental Music
School: Rancho Mirage High School
School District: Palm Springs Unified School District
City, State: Rancho Mirage, CA

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Brian McDaniel was nominated by his former principal, Michael Grainger.

During the past three years, Dr. McDaniel has worked tirelessly to create student communities that embrace the importance of empathy building, personal responsibility, and school advocacy. The product of these efforts is the Regiment, a student-teaching community that is focused on the school’s core values of responsibility, respect, safety, and cooperation. Regiment students are tasked with teaching empathy, supporting other students in improved learning outcomes, and modeling citizenship. These collective efforts have transformed the school’s learning community and have contributed to a reduction in the number of major discipline incidents on the campus during the current school year.

One of Dr. McDaniel’s best attributes is his commitment to the success of his students. Actions include routinely eating lunch with his music students, extending normal working hours to provide access for students to site facilities for instrument storage and management, accommodating weekly visits from current high school students who graduated his music programs at PHMS, and providing after school opportunities to students who need additional musical training and support. For these actions, Dr. McDaniel deserves to be highly commended. This level of commitment has truly changed the student culture on the campus, positioning Dr. McDaniel as an effective change agent.

Dr. McDaniel recognizes the importance of working with district and site stakeholders to achieve specific goals. This often requires negotiating around significant hurdles and challenges, and engaging in out-of-the-box thinking. Dr. McDaniel is tireless in his efforts to solve problems, build consensus, and ensure that all students attending PHMS receive an equitable education in terms of services and resources. 

Recently, Dr. McDaniel has been asked to serve as admin designee to cover for an absent site administrator. On these occasions, he is constantly walking in the hallways and classrooms, providing guidance and support to students and colleagues alike. He seizes every teachable moment to help students resolve conflict, attain a goal, or mentor a friend. Relationship building is a conduit to positive learning outcomes, and Dr. McDaniel epitomizes the importance of this process in his sincere interactions with both students and colleagues. As a highly respected member of the PHMS learning community, he has earned the trust of many.

"I believe Dr. McDaniel possesses the skills and personal attributes that position him as the apotheosis of teaching professionals." says Mr. Grainger. "His relentless attention and commitment to culture building and improved student learning outcomes make him a LifeChanger."

Comments (144)

Joshua Ponciano Posted 6 months ago

There aren’t enough words to describe how incredible Dr. McDaniel is. He dedicates so much of his time to uplift his students to their highest potential. He sees what his students are capable of and beyond and doesn’t stop until they realize their talent and grow as people and musicians. As a former member of his Golden Eagle Regiment I know how important Dr. McDaniel and his program are to his students. He truly cares about each of his students and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him. It’s been an honor and a privilege to help him coach pit percussion at Rancho Mirage High School and witness from the side of an instructor how impactful he is. I can’t wait for many more years of teaching!

Cecilia Valdez Posted 6 months ago

Dr. McDaniel is a life changer in so many ways. He has transformed the RMHS Regiment into an amazing band in just a few short months. He is very down to earth with high expectations of his students and those that surround him. Keep spreading that energy Dr. Mc Daniel

Erika Munoz Posted 6 months ago

Dr. McDaniel is simply a person who is hungry to change lives. As a former student of his, he changed my life magnificently wether he knows it or not. It was the smallest thing that changed my life forever. One day we were casually going through music and we came across an alto saxophone solo and Dr. McDaniel convinced me to go for it, but I was such a shy person and that was WAY out of my comfort zone. It wasn’t until he said “I believe in you sweets” when I played that solo in front of the class and totally nailed it... and then he made me play it in front of the whole school! Since that moment, I want afraid to shine and show my true colors and I am truly great full. He is truly like a father to me and will always have a special place in my heart, just like I’m sure he has in a ton of peoples hearts. Thank you for shaping me into the person I am now!

Madonna M. Gerrell Posted 7 months ago

Life changer is an understatement to describe Dr. Brian Mc Daniels! He is more because he stirs up excitement, energy, and positivity for all those who cross his path. To watch him direct his Regiment and student musicians is magical because he ignites pride and joy for each and every individual. He moves kids into a zone of success and high achievement, and I would one day want to see a movie that would be made about this larger than life educator, motivator, and guiding light..he is helping to attract and support students using the love of music! Bravo Dr. Mc Daniels!!

Justin Janis Posted 7 months ago

You’re the best! Btw I was at the fundraiser event your band played for yesterday in Rancho Mirage!

Ana Rangel Posted 7 months ago

Dr. McDaniel is simply an amazing human. He is always looking for ways to go above and beyond for his students. I see firsthand how he reminds them to never settle for good and always encourages them to become better students, musicians, hard working people, and so much more. The kids become so hyped up that even their parents' get involved and try to find ways to help McDaniel to better benefit the success of their children. It's such a beautiful thing to see how the collaborative efforts between a teacher, a student, and a parent creates a strong partnership in life. Take me for example, I first met Dr. McDaniel back in 2006 when I was 16 years old. He was my band director during high school and he always pushed us to work hard. I am now 29 years old working alongside him as one of his band instructors while working on my Masters in Music. He is still there to support me in my academic hardships and encouraging me to continue my studies to work toward receiving my teaching credential. I am just one of the many students with a successful story that blossomed after having met Brian McDaniel. To Dr. McDaniel, thank you for your faith in me and in my success. Thank you for being a great mentor!

Dillon Phillips Posted 7 months ago

Past student of Dr. McDaniel, from my time in high school band he was our director for four years, in those years he led us through three tours, two state championships, and a festival of gold. We didn't think it was possible but Dr. McDaniel was always behind every student helping them get better and strive for the biggest dreams. His lessons extended beyond a classroom, beyond the band program, he supported every single student at one point or another and left each of us with lessons we will hold for the rest of our lives. He holds true to the saying, "If you want to make a difference in a year you plant a tree, but if you want to make a difference in 100 years you become a teacher"

Steven Hardin Posted 7 months ago

Dr. McDaniel is an amazing instructor and teacher. Our past band programs were rough and we really needed someone to turn our program around and make a difference. Lots of our students go through personal problems along the way and Dr. McDaniel is the only one a lot of us can turn to for help. When he first came to the program everyone was excited but didn’t know how everything was going to work. He completely changed our futures and high school careers for the best.

Patcharu HariKrishna Posted 7 months ago

You have done exceptional job in collaborating with my students back back last December. My students were inspired by your presence. They learnt a lot from your session. We look forward to connecting you again

Coach Matthews Posted 7 months ago

Dr. Brian McDaniel is an amazing band director who strives at being the best in the valley. I have worked with him at two different schools in my 15 year career. He develops young people into productive citizens by connecting them through music. The work ethic, dedication, and pride he instills in his band students is awesome to witness. He directs the pep band at our home football games, and at least gives us a 7 point edge with the extreme power that vibrates throughout the stadium. I have seen a lot of bands in my career, but none are as well disciplined and on point as ones that are directed by Dr. McDaniel. Go Rattler Regiment!

Samantha Perrego Posted 9 months ago

I’m currently in the strings class at Rancho Mirage High School. I’ve been playing violin since 4th grade, but I’ve never actually committed myself to mastering the instrument. I’ve never wanted to. I kept playing because I liked to play, but I never seemed to get better. When Dr. McDaniel came to our school, I found out why I continued to play. I wanted to teach others what I know. He gave me the chance to discover that. I wanted to thank you Dr. McDaniel, and congrats on the nomination!

Tyler Dutel Posted 9 months ago

Even though I am not in Dr. McDaniel’s Rattler Regiment, I still connect with him in many ways. Dr. McDaniel is a very outgoing and humble teacher.

Jason joven Posted 9 months ago

Even though I’m not in his band class, Mr. McDaniel is a very cool and humble teacher.

Christian Franco Posted 9 months ago

I’m a student at Rancho mirage High School and ever since I met Dr.Mc Daniel he’s just help me change my life for the better I am more involved in school all my grades sky rocketed and he’s such an amazing person that helps me every single day at school.

Anjellena Wilson Posted 9 months ago

I am a senior at Rancho Mirage High School. I came into this class intending to learn about music; 8 weeks later and I’ve gain much more knowledge in this class then just the basic music. I’ve came in this class feeling like I had no one but me and my daughter and he made me believe in seeing the best in people again. He gave me the inspiration to try in school again, as well as to get involved. If this wasn’t my last year in high school I would most definitely get involved in Marching Band. I really wish I would’ve met Dr. McDaniel years ago but apart of me feels that I met him at one of my darkest times when I needed someone the most. I am truly thankful to have the opportunity to know him as a person as well as have him as a teacher. I couldn’t think of a possible person who deserves this award more then he does as a person, teacher and mentor.

Dalila Reyes Posted 9 months ago

From the start of school, I have been incredibly nervous for what the future holds for our band. I honestly did not expect to continue with band and I planned to try other electives. But as soon Dr. McDaniel became our band director, everything took a turn for the positive. Many changes were made that helped our band for the better and kids kept on piling in. I have nothing but positive comments to say about Dr. McDaniel since he helped me find my passion for music once again. Dr. McDaniel definitely deserves this award for changing the lives of so many students in such little time.

Lilly Posted 9 months ago

I've only been in Mr. McDaniel's since the start of school. I haven't learned faster in any other class than his. I thank him everyday for my chance to play and experience new music.

Anneliese Padilla Posted 9 months ago

My first year in marching band, I did it as an 8th grader and Dr.McDaniel wasn’t there at the time. Now, doing it my freshman year, I can proudly say that our regiment is not only a great band, but a family. The amount of great change, and positivity that has been enforced into our entire band program, is a feeling like no other. Before Dr.Mcdaniel I felt that I had no meaning in the band, and no motivation to do anything, now that he has come into my life, and others I feel that I have a purpose in band, and I had the motivation I needed to continue my path in band. I find that, for a teacher, you have to be unique, and special in order to touch everyone of your students hearts and impact their lives, Dr. Mcdaniel is truly that teacher. I’m so impatient and excited to see what the future hold for our regiment, and Dr. Mcdaniel truly deserves this award.

Bianca Padilla Posted 9 months ago

I have been in band for a good while now, but the for past few years I found myself not enjoying it at all. I had no motivation to continue that I came to the decision of not doing it at all. However, when I found out that Dr. McDaniel was going to be our new band director, I completely changed my mind. He has been the most inspiring teacher I’ve had. Ive seen the impact on my fellow classmates. Everybody is so much more motivated and inspired to do what we love. He has made going to school much more easier. He makes sure everybody is included and doesn’t feel left out. I am glad that I will spend my last final year of high school with him. Dr. McDaniel should win the title because of his constant motivation towards his students and making everyone feel important.

Jeannette Hardin Posted 9 months ago

Dr. McDaniel is the true embodiment of the LifeChanger award. A few months ago, my son was ready to give up music. The future of our band program was completely unknown and most students and parents had no idea what we should expect moving forward. Since my son also has other sports interests he was going to quit band all together. That all changed when Dr. McDaniel walked through the doors. The way he inspires and motivates our kids is phenomenal. Such positivity and encouragement every day. He treats them like they are part of his family, and that's what it feels like.... one big family! And not just the band, the way he is uniting the band with the whole school is truly amazing. Where there was once divide and indifference, there is more connectivity, support and true school spirit!.... I can't wait to see what the future holds and truly believe that Dr. Brian McDaniel deserves this award!

Bryson Ianni Posted 9 months ago

Louis Armstrong once described that “musicians don’t retire” rather “they stop when there’s no more music in them.” That was once me; a former musician who left school out of despair amongst my junior year, a former musician whose soul was perished of music, and thus, life. Depression engulfed me and I was unsure of the future. Truthfully, with my hope dwindling, the thought of returning to school made me quite nervous, especially after hearing that my past director would be leaving. Amongst my shadows, I sought for musical expression, yet being that my senior year was soon beginning, and that I had not played an instrument in about a year’s time, I was concerned that my opportunities regarding my passion would conclude. I questioned whether the new director would enrage the hunger within me or smother the already fading flame within; however, upon meeting my present teacher, Dr Brian McDaniel, I was relieved to find someone with similar motivations; someone who cared about the art of music, and more than that, the lives of our youth. Dr. McDaniel deserves to win life changer of the year not purely because of his wholesome musical teaching, but for much more than that. In the short time that he has directed our school, he has changed the public opinion of the band on our campus, signed off multiple grants to fund our program without forced student payments, and has given hope to not only his students, but the students, parents, and teachers of our whole community. He has taught compassion and touched upon our greatest component of the human experience; love. He loves what he does and teaches through example of why we should as well. Furthermore, he understands the impact of his actions as a leader and treats every moment as an opportunity to excel. While on a personal note, he has served as a mentor and has given me a sense of purpose again. Suddenly, I look forward to school because I know that it is another moment to create music and memories with my peers. Hence, it is for all of these reasons that I, along with others, firmly believe that Dr. Brian McDaniel deserves to win life changer of the year. "The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members." – Coretta Scott King

Jake Nelson Posted 9 months ago

When I first met Dr.Mcdaniel, I knew that he would put everything he possibly can into our program. I can not verbally describe how much I appreciate and admire his dedication that he has shown all of us. He has truly connected us as friends and even a family. I have Mcdaniel for 5 periods out of the day and each day I wake up looking forward to the time I will spend with him and his students. I am his Teachers assistant for his music one class. They way he presents him self and inspires the kids into learning about music always baffles me. He has really inspired me to Pursue playing the trumpet and I can not verbally describe my gratitude for his enthusiasm. All of his students respect him like no other teacher, no one has ever been so appreciative to have a teacher like Dr.Mcdaniel. I honestly look to Dr.Mcdaniel as my father figure because I know I can always talk to him about any subject at any time. He has truly changed my life in ways I could never imagine and it astonishes me!

Ryan arthur Posted 9 months ago

Dr.McDaniel is one of the most influential teachers I have had. I have only had him as a teacher for a little while and he has influenced me so much. I am a varsity baseball player and he still supports me even though he is a band teacher. He is always there for me and always willing to give a helping hand. I look forward to coming to his class and having him inspire me. His class has honestly made me have a better outlook on school and have influenced me to stay in band and to be more of a help to my fellow classmates

Eliza Moto Posted 9 months ago

For a long time, I was beginning to just not really enjoy band. It was the same thing every single day. I didn’t have the motivation to continue with the path I chose to stick with for my high school career. However, Dr. McDaniel suddenly changed the mood. All of a sudden everything began to have color again. Band became fun. He has only been at Rancho Mirage High School for almost 3 months and so much has changed. Everyone is always extremely motivated and prepared for the challenges we all face. I’ve begun having fun again. I’ve finally been able to look forward to my days. It has truly changed my life. Band is what really helped me come out of my shell in middle school. Finally being able to be happy in high school with it was truly changed me as a person and definitely changed the band! This is why I believe Dr. McDaniel deserves this title.

Sara Chen Posted 9 months ago

Dr. McDaniel has only been our teacher for a few weeks, but the progress made in this short amount of time is phenomenal. Dr. McDaniel came to our school in a time where we were all very scared for the future of our program. During the summer, we got an email from our former band director saying he had left to teach at another school closer to his family. Personally, I was very anxious to have a new teacher; however, when I found out Dr. McDaniel would be our new band director I was ecstatic. He has such an amazing reputation in this valley and to be his student is a once in a lifetime opportunity. He motivates us every single day to keep going and that will win that state championship. Whenever he sets his mind to something he always gets there and I am positive that he has impacted every single one of his students way in one way or another. Dr. McDaniel is the true definition of a life changer.

Debra Sloan Posted 9 months ago

Because of dr Mcdaniel my son has become an amazing jazz trumpet player and was accepted in the top performing arts high school in Southern California. Without the direction of dr Mcdaniel he would not have the work ethic he has now. Thank you dr Mcdaniel. For everything you have done for my son

Heather Mendez Posted 10 months ago

In my opinion Dr Mc Daniel embodies the complete and true meaning of this award title, I have had the pleasure to work with him before when he stepped in to lead our band when our Director was hospitalized, we knew then how special he was and now we are blessed to call Dr Mc Daniel our very own Band director and we support him whole heartedly in this new venture.

Deanna B. Chavez Posted 10 months ago

There aren’t enough words to express how wonderful Dr. McDaniel is. He truly is the definition of a “life changer”. I am more than happy to share a comment about Dr. McDaniel. Not only is he a marvelous teacher, he is a remarkable person. I am so thankful that he is one of my daughter’s high school teachers. In just a few short weeks, he has made such a difference in my daughter’s and all of the band student’s lives. He has brought back the spark and breath of fresh air, they truly needed. He is always inspiring and motivating his students, his colleagues and actually, anyone who is lucky enough to know him. Dr. McDaniel is always putting his family, his students, his friends and everyone else first. He inspires us all to be better. He is a kind, generous and dedicated soul. A true life changer!

Cristian Posted 10 months ago

Doctor McDaniel deserves to win this title. I’ve been his student for about 2 weeks and in those 2 weeks he has already done more then our last teacher did in 1 month. McDaniel is also very inspirational and someone to look up too. Whatever he sets his mind on he can do. Doctor McDaniel wants to turn our band from a ok band to the best band in the state. I really believe we can do this. That is why Doctor McDaniel deserves this title.

Ryan Fogg Posted 10 months ago

Dr. Brian McDaniel is an amazing band director who strives at being the best in the valley his hard work and dedication is the reason why he should be your life changer of the year I have been in his regiment for a couple of weeks and he has already taught me how to be a great leader , musician and person and there is no doubt in my mind that he should win this award after all the hard work and accomplishments he has been able to achieve.

Tania Posted 10 months ago

Dr. McDaniel deserves the title of a life changer. I’ve seen his work and his impact throughout schools and it’s amazing the amount of positivity Dr. McDaniel spreads. He sheds a light on the music program like no other teacher I’ve seen, he does whatever he needs and sacrifices a lot of time and hard work for his students in order to give them the best they deserve. No one else deserves the title as much as Dr. McDaniel and I can’t wait to see how many lives he continues to impact. I’m excited to the the rattler regiment grow because it’s being pushed in the right direction because of Dr. McDaniel. Congratulations on the nomination!

Madison Posted 10 months ago

Dr. McDaniel absolutely deserves the title "lifechanger" and will always. Barely getting to know him, it is easy to see that he is a motivation and inspiration to many. Dr.McDaniel has change about 60 people's lives in the course of two days by bringing light to a music program that no one had seen before. His energetic charisma is what keeps the students that he teaches alive and excited. He has so much knowledge not just school or band related, but in life too and everyone is beyond excited to learn. Dr.McDaniel has a vision of what he wants and what he could do. And it is absolutely thrilling knowing that he believes in his students and believes in opportunities, and he believes in the regiment.

Dalas Lewison Posted 10 months ago

I’ve only been his student for a few weeks but in those few weeks, he’s inspired me to work my hardest, to not give up and work for what I truly want, even if it’s not in band. He’s different from most teachers, he doesn’t let someone not being able to afford to go somewhere stop them from going, we actually don’t have to pay to be in the band program, which is great for students who don’t have the money. He’s very understanding when it comes to things outside of band which is great! I’m glad to have this opportunity to be one of his students in my Highschool career

Leslie Milward Posted 10 months ago

Dr. McDaniel has truly been an inspiration and drastically improves any student he meets. I remember 3 years ago he came to help our program when we were in need and it revolutionized the entire programs outlook on what we were doing and gave us the spark of motivation we were lacking. He helped save our marching season when we were in need and made it one of the most memorable. Now, he is one of the best teachers I could possibly ask for. He inspires everyone each day to succeed in dreams they never even dreamed of. Dr. McDaniel is a life changer for many and has strengthened my outlook on life and the impact of music.

Chandler Christine Kelser Posted 10 months ago

Congratulations, Dr. McDaniel! I am so grateful to be one of your students this year and to be one of your drum majors in our Regiment. You have motivated all of your students to do their best and we come to school with smiles on our faces knowing we get to see you everyday and hear your positive words. You make everyone's day better and always have a plan. Our future is bright with Dr. McDaniel and I can honestly say he has changed many of the lives in the students he has taught, my own included.

Chrissy Chavez Posted 10 months ago

I have no words other than you are more than qualified and truly deserve this title. You are the definition of a life changer and have already touched everyone’s life in the RMHS Rattler Regiment. Much love and congratulations!

Melissa Salguero Posted 12 months ago

Brian McDaniel is an amazing inspiration to the world of education! Personally, my life has been changed after meeting him. I had the pleasure of meeting Brian through the Global Teacher Prize. He has taught me how to be more resourceful and how to think outside the box when raising funds for my music program. The fact that he has raised over a MILLION DOLLARS has inspired me to set bigger goals and seek innovative ways to raise money. Through his impact on my life, he has helped enrich the lives of MY students' thousands of miles away!

Melissa Posted over a year ago

I am so proud to know Brian McDaniel. He is a true inspiration to the education profession. He works tirelessly helping students find their voice and he does so with empathy and sincerity. The most amazing part of Brian’s drive to do more, be more, and change more is that he does all that he can on a global scale with the universal language of music as communication super power. Brian McDaniel is a life changer for sure.

Dr. Mark Vondracek Posted over a year ago

When you talk with Brian about anything related to children, the eyes light up and a pure form of enthusiasm and passion begins to flow. He understands every student is an amazing human being who will light up the world in some way, they just need the guidance, encouragement, sometimes a push, confidence and self-esteem, and acknowledgement that they are important so they can find their way. Brian does all this! He is his students' biggest fan and cheerleader, he creates an environment where it is alright to fail and then learn from that failure, and has an amazing support system where his students cheer for each other. His work extends outside of the school, where he is a fellow Global Teacher Prize finalist and Varkey Teacher Ambassador who wants to help in a variety of projects on a national and global scale, whether it is promoting the teaching profession to helping make schools safe and healthy for students to strive for their dreams by being one of our founding members of the National Coalition for Safe Schools. He is a supportive colleague, and more importantly a friend, who is most deserving for this recognition!

Carol Levinson RN Posted over a year ago

Brian McDaniel has been Changing the lives of so many children in our community for so many years. He makes time for each and every one of them treating them as if they were his very own. If they are cold he makes sure they have jackets. If they are hungry there is always nutritious food that they can eat. He is there to not only to listen to their wants and needs but hears and acts upon thier wishes to fulfil their dreams. So many of Brian's students have been able to graduate and live their lives in what many would say dreams are made of. Brian is kind and a true friend that can be there in blink of an eye. Brian never quits on even the most challenging students. He instead gives the students understanding, knowledge, kindness and a true sense of family in the regiment. Brian is a blessing.

Katherine Bassett Posted over a year ago

Brian is an inspiration. His passion for his students, his constantly pushing his content forward, and his integrity and professionalism are what each of us should aspire to as educators. It is an honor to see him practice his craft.

Fernando Cortez Posted over a year ago

When I think of inspiration Dr. McDaniel instantly comes to mind. Throughout my life I have not met a person more hardworking and inspiring which has to me to be the best person I can be. His methods of teaching have constant inspiration flowing out which has majorly affected my life. Today because of his inspiration I have been taking up music to the uppermost level which has allowed me to make the highest classes of band at school and even make the College of the Desert All Valley Honor Band in which we play professional charts. Dr. McDaniel has constantly been an inspiration for me and because of him I’ve been able to succeed and keep going in my instrumentation.

Brandon Ulin Posted over a year ago

I really appreciate music and my prior band teacher, Dr. McDaniel. I used to be in a really dark place years ago, but he turned my life around. With his help when I was his regiment president, I had the ability to learn and grow. I am now about to be a junior in Highschool, I am class president and brass captain for my school’s Marching Band.

Giselle Silva Posted over a year ago

Dr.McDaniel has been my choir teacher for the past three school years I am upset to be leaving this year. Dr.McDaniel would always try his best to build a positive relationship with his students and never fails to succeed. He is one of the best teachers I have ever had. When I joined choir I never expected it to impact me as much as it did. I am very honored to have Dr.McDaniel as a teacher.

Abigail Liera Posted over a year ago

Dr. Mcdaniel is an inspiration to all the people who have had him as a teacher. He always tries his best to help people in need even when he’s been having trouble. Dr. McDaniel is an amazing person because he’s always making people happy and even when they think there worth nothing he always gives them a purpose in life, that is why I think Dr. McDaniel is a life changer.

Phillip Posted over a year ago

Dr Brian McDaniel is not just amazing and out standing just as in the way he acts and feels as a normal person, but the way he teaches has changed my perspective on so many things in life. Such as, the way I treat teachers and act around my friends and family and things from respect and further on. He has changed my life by being their for the thoughts in my head about my parents divorce. He taught me to keep my head out of the past, and more in the present. He is an all around great person and educator that has changed my and many others lives and plans on continuing changing lives in the feauture

Ariana Posted over a year ago

Dr.McDaniel is a great teacher. He is always inspiring us to do better. In the Regiment we are a family and it’s because of Dr.McDaniel. He is always helping us get through any problems that we have. He is always there for us no matter what and he believes in us. The Regiment is a great place to live.

Janeska Posted over a year ago

Keep up the amazing work your doing. You are a life changer for our little town! Good luck!

Gwen Posted over a year ago

I want to congratulate Dr. McDaniel on being The Life Changer of the Year and I hope he will get many more successes like this in his lifetime

Sabrina Posted over a year ago

Congratulations on being nominated as a LifeChanger of the Year. I’m so proud to be in the Regiment and one of your students. Singing is my life and you have given that to me.

James Jared Taylor Posted over a year ago

I have known Brian since he started his teaching career at Desert Hot Springs High School. I was a faculty member at that school. He is one of the most enthusiastic teachers I have known. He makes sure that every student puts energy into their playing. He inspires the students. Since I left the school district, I have seen him grow as a teacher and also become one of the most consummate of professionals and he has garnered many achievements for both himself and his students.

Ailyn Nieves Posted over a year ago

Congrats Dr. Brian Mc Daniel as you deserve this award. I’ve only been in your class for a year and you’ve opened my eyes. You are an amazing teacher and anyone to have you as a music teacher is very lucky. You’ve helped me get through rough times and made me feel like I wasn’t alone and for that I admire and adore you. The Regiment Forever.

Vince Urbani Posted over a year ago

From all that I have heard, I only wish that I had Brian as one of my music educators when I was a student. His impact on his students is profound to say the least. I have had the honor of performing on stage with his talented wife Kelly back in 2012, and together they ate the sweetest couple and are raising their blended family of four plus two of their very own kids with all the love it takes to make a perfect role model family. I'm so glad to know them and to know that they inspire the members of their community every day. I'm so glad to know them personally. Good job, Brian! You deserve all the accolades you've been given!

Leslie Hill Posted over a year ago

Dr.McDaniel has done so much good for all her students. He has taught everyone and myself everything that I wanted to know, when I was in 6th grade I always wanted to be in band but I never got into it because I always thought I wasn’t going to be good enough. After 6th grade passed I decided to give it a try . The moment of walking into the classroom I knew I was going to stay and I knew it was something I always wanted to do. Dr.McDaniel showed me that you shouldn’t care what people think . Congrats Dr.McDaniel.

Jo’Neil Posted over a year ago

Doctor Brian McDaniel is a amazing Teacher who deserves the life Changer of the year Award. I’ve had him for 3 years as my music teacher and in those 3 years he was the reason I went to go to school. And as they come to a end I’m gonna be Super sad as I leave him for High school.

Zamiriyah Posted over a year ago

Dr.McDaniel is a great teacher because he helps and cares about his students and if your sad or mad he asks and makes sure that your okay and he is really nice and tries really hard too take all his students on tour to Hollywood or somewhere better. Also he gives lessons about life, he took me on tour to the heritage festival, I had a lot of fun and he took us too the show to watch together and we had lots of fun.I hope all the future kids in the band cherish all the moments with him since I’m a 8th grade and I’m going to high school so I hope all the students have as much fun as I did with him.

Naomi Volain Posted over a year ago

Dynamic, insightful, energetic, positive, resourceful and accomplished - that's Brian McDaniel. I'm honored to know Brian as a fellow Finalist for the Global Teacher Prize, now as Varkey Teacher Ambassadors together. He is already a LifeChanger with his outlook, vision, and actions in teaching students, teachers, and the community.

Nicholas Leon Posted over a year ago

Dr. McDaniel has had an immeasurable impact on my life. I met him during my first year of high school, which happened to be his first year teaching. Since that time, in addition to being a teacher, he has been a mentor, a colleague, and a friend. Thank you for all that you do.

Koen Timmers Posted over a year ago

Dr. Brian McDaniel is a fellow Varkey Teacher Ambassador who has a heart to change the world. We are currently collaborating to ensure sustainable education to students of Africa through the Innovative Lab School. Brian is the kind of teacher who gives everything he has to make a difference in a child’s life. I am proud to call him my friend and colleague.

Kaylee Posted over a year ago

Dr. McDaniel has been my band teacher for 2 years and also taught my older brother for 3 years. He has been so inspirational to every kid in The Regiment. He’s not like any other teacher. He’s more than a teacher, more like a dad figure to everyone. I have no idea how I would have went through middle school without someone like Dr. McDAniel. He teaches us that we could be the best that we could possibly be. He’s helped a lot of kids with there problems that there having and how to fix them or make them better.

Nevaeh Posted over a year ago

Dr. McDaniel is an inspiration to his family, his co workers, and most of all his students. He is a father figure to his students and really makes connections with them. He has made me a better person, so congratulations Dr. McDaniel you deserve it.

Hannah Posted over a year ago

Doctor Brian McDaniel. Not a normal human, but has exceeded humanity’s expectation of a human. He might seem like a normal music teacher to those out of his classroom, but those in his class know he teaches much more than how to play your instrument. He teaches life lessons. The ones you will hold onto forever.

Johnny Aguon Posted over a year ago

Dr McDaniel put fun in to my life, through music and inspiring lessons and quotes. I have never seen or heard of a teacher that can inspire yet teach a whole bunch of kids about music and lessons that we are going to need in the future. He has inspired me and a whole bunch of other kids as well as other teachers around the world.

Esmeralda Posted over a year ago

Dr. McDaniel is one of the best teachers I’ve had because he has teach me to play the clarinet and how to be successful in life and that there is more in life when you are on path to success.

Jade Posted over a year ago

One of the best teachers I’ve had is McDaniel because I know that he’ll always be there when I need help. Also, McDaniel has changed my life by thinking differently about teachers and what they are for, and he taught me that the teachers that really care about you always are there for you no matter what the situation is, they will always help you go through it with you.

Daisy Posted over a year ago

Dr.McDaniel is a really amazing teacher. He helped me with everything. With my music and I think that I can be successful in my life

Seahawk Posted over a year ago

Dr.mcdaniel is my teacher. I like his class because he believes in all of us. But he is not just a teacher he is a father to all of us.

Esmeralda Posted over a year ago

Dr.McDaniel is a great teacher and and amazing role model to many people. Dr.McDaniel isn’t just a teacher. Dr.McDaniel is an amazing human being that is working extra hard to be able to Take everyone of his students on tour. Dr.McDaniel is a father figure, an amazing role model, and yet the best music teacher to ever have.

Victor Posted over a year ago

Doctor Brain McDaniel is the best friend I had he is my life changer and he can Chang more live and other and I am glad I am in the REGIMENT and I thankful that he is here for all of us is the world and life changer he can do more than that I know

Nathalie Posted over a year ago

Dr.McDaniel is a great teacher he is fun, honest, and fair. He gets me very inspired to see where he has got now. I so far have been in band for tow years going for three. From those three years I have noticed a lot of success and for other kids to. He is a teacher that has always be their for me. When I first met him I said to my self he will change my life he taught me how to play the Alto Sax now I will be going to Jazz band I am will be their all middle school. When ever I have seen a student getting bullied he has got the student had comfort the student and taken care of the other student. I look up to being close to my band teacher a lot.

Lissbeth Vega Posted over a year ago

Dr McDaniel is my favorite teacher, he is family to me. He has helped me through so much that I can and I do consider him as a father figure to me. He has helped me with my anxiety, depression and more. I’m now happier, I laugh more. And I’m now a leader instead of follower, all because of him. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend, father, mentor, and music teacher.

Madison Posted over a year ago

Dr.McDaniel is not just a teacher, he is kind and motivational. I’ve seen him change not only days of the kids that he works with but the lives of them too. To most He’s just a teacher, but to those he’s taught he’s a father. He has brought many kids out of their storms in life and brought them back into the light, reminding them that they are not alone. He has inspired and sparked interest into the lives of not only children, but other teachers as well.

Kelly Posted over a year ago

Dr.McDaniel has been my choir teacher for three years. I have seen him do very good things in those three years. He is always trying to make sure every student is doing good. He has helped me not get in trouble at school and has always been my motivation to do good in school. He constantly checks in on his students grades and making sure they are okay. I have gone on two trips with the choir and he made it a very good time. Dr. McDaniel has been an inspiration to many students, including me, and is always making my day better.

Olivia Posted over a year ago

Dr.McDaniel has been there for me ever since 5th grade, this is my 2nd year with him. He has helped me get through depression with music. I now socialize better with my Regiment family. Singing makes me happy. Whenever I listen to music feel unbreakable and better about myself. He is my life-changer and a life-changer to so many students.

Arianna Godwin Posted over a year ago

I am very proud of my choir teacher, Dr. Brian McDaniel for being nominated for Life Changer of The Year. Dr. Brian McDaniel has changed my life in many different ways like letting me audition to advance choir and raising funds for the Hollywood Tour so students can go which changed so many students lives including mine. He also believes all of us and really supportive with any question we ask. I really believe that Dr. McDaniel was my life changer and I really think he will be everyone else’s if he is life changer of the year.

Ron Newhouse Posted over a year ago

Brian is a wonderful band director and an outstanding teacher.

Kimberly miller Posted over a year ago

Brian has been an amazing part of my children's lives. Thank you for always pushing them to be better and striving to be better.

Jennifer Arugay Posted over a year ago

From the moment I met Dr. Brian McDaniel it was obvious what a passionate and inspiring teacher he is. His kindness and devotion to our community is an inspiration and he continues to inspire me in my own community work. I am so proud to know him and thrilled to watch him receive recognition for the work he does. He touches peoples lives and cares deeply about making a difference. It says so much about him that he grew up here and made it a priority to teach in our community because of how much he was affected by his the teachers in his own life. We are truly lucky to have him here in Desert Hot Springs. I know he will continue to do amazing things in the future and I will be cheering him on the whole way.

Ourania Lampou Posted over a year ago

Dr McDaniel is a very inspiring, active and passionate colleague who transformed his students' life by high-level humanistic initiatives and by encouraging learners to overcome difficulties and challenges..

Marc Posted over a year ago

I had the honor of studying under Dr. McDaniel for a capstone course. It is the type of class that can be formulaic or a rote recitation of what you've learned along the way. It was clear from the opening introduction that Dr. McDaniel expected more of us and that we could expect more from him. His assignments always fostered creativity. Having now completed a master's degree, I can look back and say that Dr. McDaniel's course is one that stands out along the way and that Dr. McDaniel himself is a teacher I'll never forget, nor will I sufficiently be able to express my gratitude.

Brett McDaniel Posted over a year ago

I am Brian's biological brother and was in his first year of teaching in desert hot springs. Back in 2006 he came into the classroom motivated to show us students we can do what we want with hard work and determination. For things as simple as playing a part of music that is above our skill set all the way to going New York for a contest, he took us by the hand and guided all of us to our true potential. Brian worked hard before school and late after school to meet with students for anything they needed. We had a lunch council that would meet and he would be there, just to make sure we had a place we can speak freely about any problem we had. He motivated the quiet kids to become loud and he got the loud kids to relax and focus. With a broken band program, he inherited from 2 different band directors, he took control and led that ship into over 100s of thousands of dollars in equipment and trips hundreds of kids would have never thought they would experience. I stated I am his brother, but when I was in his classroom I was his student, no different then the person sitting on either side of me. That shows a true heart to the craft, he put teaching his students at the same level as his own family.

Belinda Leon Posted over a year ago

Brian. Congratulations you deserve all the awards you have received and hope you win this one also.Thank you for all you did for my kids while they were part of your program. And for all the other kids as well. I feel it kept them motivated to to do well in every thing they did, then and now. It was a pleasure being one of your band moms, Good luck and God bless you and your family!!!

Scott Bedley Posted over a year ago

The energy and passion Brian put towards impacting his students lives is an inspiration to the educators of the world... and when I say world, I truly mean world. His influence reaches beyond just the local teachers who love him. I’m grateful that Brian is reaching the world with his positive message about education!

Judy Posted over a year ago

Dr. McDaniel is a true lifechanger and a wonderful teacher, loved by all his students.

Christine Beachler Posted over a year ago

Dr. McDaniel is truly an inspiration to all! He not only helps to bring out the best in his students by challenging them in the classroom, he has lived his life a role model proving to students that hard work, determination and perseverance will earn success in life!

Ian Fogarty Posted over a year ago

Good luck buddy!!

Toni Little Posted over a year ago

I am a retired teacher who worked with Brian for a number of years. Brian is an exceptionally good teacher and an exceptionally good colleague as well. He is passionate about public education. If I had to sum it up, I would say that the world is a better place because Brian McDaniel is in it.

Miriam Posted over a year ago

Brian is the sort of educator and in fact the sort of person, that sees a difficult situation and steps up, considers what he can do and makes a commitment. Lots of people see difficult situations and shake their heads and say ‘oh my! That’s tough! I’m sending my prayers and thoughts!’ He’s not one of those. He’s an upstander not a bystander. Brian teaches in a very different context from me but responded instantly and generously when he saw he could help. Of there were more Brians out there the world would be a better place.

Darren Loney Posted over a year ago

Incredible educator and advocate for music education.

Judalon Manes Posted over a year ago

My friend, Dr. Brian McDaniel, has so much passion for helping his students to improve their lives - music being one, but not the only means of doing it - that he has inspired me to go back to teaching after retiring from the classroom. His ability to give, pull resources together, find words and actions to inspire, is a are and amazing gift he generously shares with students, their families, and with friends like me!

William Sims Posted over a year ago

Dr. McDaniel changed my life the day I began working with him. He is the most passionate and impactful change-agent I have personally experienced ever. I am extremely grateful to have come into contact with such an amazing LifeChanger. I will like to personally thank Dr. McDaniel for changing my professional life as an African American Male History Teacher. I never knew such a successful person could be so humble and willing to sacrifice so much for me personally and every single student he has come into contact with.

Jon Hazell Posted over a year ago

As the 2018 Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year, I had the privilege of spending an entire year working alongside Brian, and I got to witness firsthand not only how his passion for children positively impacts so many young people’s lives, but also how he positively impacts the lives of his colleagues and peers. I can think of no one more worthy of this honor than Brian.

Yulissa lopez Posted over a year ago

Well Dr.Mcdaniel is the greatest teacher because he helps us for the future and succeed in life and he changed my life because now I understand what’s like to be in the Regiment when there’s dark Dr mc Daniel brights the day

Yesennya Posted over a year ago

Dr,McDaniel is a great teacher his stories are the best.An his advice is perfect I love going to his class because he actually cares an shows his love for his students.And tries to make us understand that everything is possible an we shouldn’t give up easily he is just the best.

Melissa Posted over a year ago

Dr.Mcdaniel has changed a lot of people’s lives because he is not like any regular teacher as them just teaching their kids and then eventually forgetting about them because they were just a class. You see he is like the type of teacher that if you start at rock bottom he is the one the brings you up he is the one that will break you wall of depression, stress, anxiety. Know matter what if he has a bad day we always cheer him up and whenever us as the student have a bad day he always cheers us up even if we are happy he still gives us compliments. He doesn’t give up on us even if we did a mistake or get a bad grade on something he always talks to us about it to explain why we had it, it encourages me to find that someone is actually there that cares about me and talks to you like he’s a mom and a dad figure that cares and never gives up on us. He is my champion.

Alexis Thomas Posted over a year ago

Dr McDaniel is that type of teacher that isn’t only a teacher, but also a friend or a dad to a lot of people. He tries to be there for people as much as he can. He doesn’t only teach us music but also life lessons. For example sometimes we will make a circle and he will ask us questions and everyone answers and if they say something interesting we will have a class discussion about it. Sometimes if everyone seems to have a bad we will just talk about what is going on and what the problem is. In general Dr McDaniel is a great teacher.

Marvin Bailey Posted over a year ago

Dr. Brian McDaniel is a hard working, caring teacher who really cared about helping his students.

Deborah Rivera Posted over a year ago

I have known Brian for most of his life as he and my son have been friends since grade school. He has a passion for teaching but even more so for children in general. He likes to see children achieve and excel at what they love. He is an amazing person and anyone who gets to know him is a better person for it.

Robert Posted over a year ago

I had the pleasure of being one of Dr. McDaniel's first students at Desert Hot Springs High School in 2006-2007. From the moment the school year started, he was coming up with ideas to make the music program better, finding solutions to existing issues and improving the lives of his students. His talent and passion for music and teaching was so inspiring that it made everyone that he interacted with push themselves and improve their own lives. He always maintained an open-door policy to allow for the opportunity to counsel, console or just laugh and talk casually. Seeing his progress as an educator and mentor over the years does not surprise me and encourages me to push my limits to achieve greatness. Dr. McDaniel has earned my vote for Lifechanger of the Year!!

Anthony trammel Posted over a year ago

I am not one of Dr. McDaniel’s students, however he is one of my favorite teachers. For the last year he has come out to the student lunch tables and eats with us. It was strange to see a teacher sitting with students and talking about video games, movies, school, and life. Over the year I see him more of a friend and less of a teacher. I look forward for another year of eating lunch together.

Maria Montes Posted over a year ago

Dr.Brian McDaniel is an inspiration for me and many other students. He is always there for you whenever you are going through a rough time or feel bad about yourself. Dr. Brian McDaniel is A life changer for many students including me.

Aislin Teggart Posted over a year ago

Dr. Brian McDaniel is not like a normal teacher, he is way beyond. He helps many students with their problems and is always very supportive. Dr. McDaniel is very inspirational and makes students feel good about themselves. He tells interesting stories that inspire me to be a better person. He is way more than just a music teacher, he is a lifechanger!

Jayla Mason Posted over a year ago

Life can be difficult. My own life has been difficult ever since my 4th grade. Moving a lot meant meeting new people and I was always willing to make new friends, but everything changed when I was called an insult and when I looked at a teacher for help, they said I would be fine and completely ignore my sadness. Ever since then, I would always be on edge with not only students, but adults. I refused to be involved with talking with anyone. I would always pretend to be someone I wasn’t in front others. I would always hide my true feelings. I was so scared of what others thought of me. Then middle school came up. Of course, I was reserved and was alone...or at least I was trying to be. When I went into Dr. McDaniel’s room, I was still quiet and I was nervous, but he immediately started to talk about his own trips and he would make funny jokes and comments and that released some tension in me. I started to laugh and smile truly for the first time in a long time. I started to get excited everyday to go to his class. All tension drifted away anytime I went into his classroom. Every time I played, I felt my mind drift to focus on what was most important to me. After about a trimester of being in Beginning Band, I went into Wind Symphony as a flute player. I once again felt a bit reserved, but after a day of being in Wind Symphony, I realized that maybe the band is different, but the teacher that is funny, hard working, and inspirational is still here. Near the time of our first concert, my mind was becoming out of control. Worry was filling my brain and the need to be a great player was taking me over. I forgot who I was. The day before the concert, Dr. McDaniel told me not to worry to much about it. At first, I ignored the warnings, then I started to look at myself. This is not how it should be. I shouldn’t be so worried. My first concert ever and I will always remember it. As the Universal trip got closer, I wished I could go. That wish came true. The performance of the choir was amazing and I enjoyed Universal. Soon enough, my ankle had sprained and I couldn’t go on with my group any longer. After the band performance, I spent half my time with Dr. McDaniel and his family. I saw that he was really chill and very caring. He helped me out a lot even if he did very little. I felt that I belonged and I felt happy. I felt that maybe people do care and there is hope. Today, he is still the inspirational, caring person today. I look up to him and makes me feel like there is still hope. So I’d really like to thank Dr. McDaniel for everything.

Heather Wong Posted over a year ago

Dr. McDaniel has been such a big help to my daughter this year and so encouraging to her. As a parent, I love how he makes each child feel capable of doing anything, gives them a safe environment to be themselves and lets them know that they always have a place to go if they ever need help. These last two years with him have been wonderful for my daughter and I know that she is going to truly miss him when she graduates this year. No matter what he has going on in his own personal life he makes sure that his students are taken care of and they are all doing what they need to do to exceed in band/life. He is truly an inspirational teacher/friend/community leader.

Jariah McClelland Posted over a year ago

Dr.Mcdaniel is like a 2nd father to me he has helped me through though times like bullying they would call me burnt and the n word and that really hurt me .I started to believe that and Dr.Mcdaniel has helped me through all of those times I remember I was in 6th grade I barely new my way around the school or and activities and I was in line with my class and Dr.Mcdaniel came up to our class and said after school band practice and so after school I came to band practice but I wasn’t in band YET and he said Hi sweets what happens and I said I'm here for band practice and he said sweets you have to be in band tomorrow go to the counselor and switch your elective.And I did the next day during school I came in wanting to play the drums .Dr McDaniel is the best teacher anyone could have and I love him he is my idol and I look up to him thank you so much dr mc Daniel for being there for me you made me the person I am today.

Harry Shlutz Posted over a year ago

Brian McDaniel is a consummate teacher. His love for his students is the primary driver that motivates him to not only be the very best teacher possible but this love additionally serves to motivate and encourage his students. Brian’s countenance and his smile, in addition to the daily lesson plans that he faithfully prepares are an inspiration to his students who, en large, look up to Brian as a role model. Brian is a leader in his field and the awards that he’s been given reflect his brilliance, grace and determination to serve his students with the vast amount of knowledge that he has acquired academically.

Luke Wilcox Posted over a year ago

Brian is not only a life changer for students, but also his colleagues. Brian has inspired me to think bigger about how we can positively impact education and how I can be a better teacher in the classroom!

Makayla cunning Posted over a year ago

Dr.mcdaniel has been my band teacher for 3 years. I had have a rough time at my house because my dad is slowly dying and has been since I was 9. Dr.Mcdaniel was there for me through all of it for the last 3 years,I consider him my 2nd dad because he had been there even when I didn’t want anyone to be with me. Dr.Mcdaniel has inspired me to become who I am today I if I had to go back in time I wouldn’t change a thing.

Josiah Posted over a year ago

I like doctor mc Daniel because he teaches me how to be the best I can at trombone and never gives up on me or anyone in all his classes and he teaches us things about life and that we need to be happy about life even if it’s hard

Denise Alvarez Posted over a year ago

Brian is a kind and gentle person who works diligently for his students and family. His family is very dear to me and tremendously supportive and amazing friends. They inspire me to be better person and mother.

Nathan Posted over a year ago

Doctor McDaniel would have to be one of my best teachers I ever had he has made me more confident in life and has taught me to happy in life even

Alex Kajitani Posted over a year ago

Congratulations, Dr. McDaniel! I have witnessed firsthand your unrelenting passion for improving education, and your willingness to roll up your sleeves and get the hard work done for our students. Well-Deserved!

Alexsandra Posted over a year ago

Dr.McDaniel is a one of a kind teacher. When he teaches he doesn’t go off by a lesson but by what he sees. Yeah he might have a lesson plan but he teaches differently then most teachers. He gives us lessons that we won’t usually get. His lessons are worth a lot. His job is to teach us music, he gives us life lessons. He comforts his kids and teaches us and cares about us like his own.

Eden Posted over a year ago

Dr. McDaniel is hard to explain. There’s so much there, so much good, and so many flaws, it’s hard to pin point the reason why he can teach with so much flow, so much feeling. His flaws are what I love the most. They make students feel comfortable. Flaws are better than the perfections. And since that’s the truth, Dr. McDaniel has a lot of flaws. Because even if we don’t realize it, the flaws are the best part of someone.

Jerame Posted over a year ago

Dr. McD has been a great leader and inspiration to us, the students. He has shown us no matter what economical background or environment you were raised in you can overcome and be successful. Wish nothing but the best for Dr. McD! Good luck

Milt Levinson Posted over a year ago

It takes a rare individual to become a teacher.An even rarer individual to become a teacher and motivator of other teachers. Brian McDaniel is such a person. Throughout all his successes , he has never forgotten that his students are the reason for his being.Having them succeed is what is important in his life. We are so proud of his accomplishments.

Lisa Morand Posted over a year ago

Brian is an inspiration to so many. He is an amazing educator and friend

Miguel Montes Posted over a year ago

I met Dr. McDaniel back when I started high school. He served as my Band Director and music teacher for 4 years. There was something about this teacher that made me feel inspired and engaged. As his student, I had the opportunity to learn a lot from him, I learned a lot about music but I also learned about real life issues. Dr. McDaniel was one of the few teachers on campus that made a positive impact on my life. He took me under his wing and helped me gain the necessary leadership skills to be successful in and outside of his classroom. I had the opportunity to serve as his Drum Major for the Band where we were blessed with nothing but success. Dr. McDaniel has done a lot for his students. He goes beyond all expectations to ensure students feel safe, welcomed, and are learning in his classroom. I remember many times where he would help students in need. Students who didn’t have the support at home, who didn’t have the financial stability, and who were following the wrong foot steps. He was there to help and make a difference. He would make it clear to his students that he would be there now and down the road. I’m a music educator and I’m also proud to call Dr. McDaniel a friend, mentor, and colleague. I have learned a lot from him and continue to learn on how to become a an amazing teacher myself. The student connections and relationships Dr. McDaniel are incredible. He has changed many lives including mine and will continue to change lives. I still yet have a lot to learn from a great teacher and friend, he is always a text message or phone call away.

Kelly Newhouse Posted over a year ago

Dr. McDaniel is a spark of life. There is a level of energy when he works with the students that is unparalleled.

Matt Baker Posted over a year ago

Dr. Brian McDaniel has been a close friend since childhood. He has always been a kind and genuinely caring man. Throughout his life he’s experienced tragedy and hardships I couldn’t imagine. This man is an excellent example of how to live your life, full of positivity and perseverance.

Joseph Kahng Posted over a year ago

Compassion is never ending with Dr. McDaniel. Changing lives; not just with his students but his community, his friends, family and anyone he comes into contact with. He embodies the true meaning of Love (Agape); an act of unconditional commitment. Congratulations for the great accomplishments you have achieved in your career, but the real accomplishment? Is teaching these young minds and old alike, to work together, love with your heart, and never stop learning! You sir, are the true embodiment of a Life Changer! Keep it up!

Akash Patel Posted over a year ago

I had the honor of meeting Dr. Brian McDaniel in Dubai where he served as a finalist for the esteemed Global Teacher Prize. Without a doubt, he epitomizes the best of our teaching world, indeed of our world’s future. His inspiring relationships with his students, his relentless pursuit of building the leadership capacity of his colleagues and his work with action civics in the classroom and beyond is commendable. He is beyond deserving of the Life Changer of the Year honor and I give him my heartiest recommendation.

Jimil-Anne Linton Posted over a year ago

I’ve known Dr. McDaniel for many years. He has a remarkable ability to see and get the best out of his students.

Victoria Matas Posted over a year ago

Dr. MCDaniel has been the most amazing teacher to my daughter. She got involved back in school and made friends and was complete encouraged by Dr. MCDaniel. She is saddened to be going to high school but is already planning her visits back to PHMS to see her favorite teacher!! Thank you for everything you do. You are not only an asset to our school but also to our community!!

Eric Crouch Posted over a year ago

I had the pleasure of really getting to know Brian this year and I am so thankful we have him changing lives and sharing his love for music! The things he is doing with the Regiment are absolutely incredible. Brian McDaniel I am so proud to know you and your work. Thank you for changing the lives of so many incredible students!

Michelle Beyronneau Posted over a year ago

I have known and worked with Brian for the past 8 years. I’ve been impressed with him since year 1 when I saw right away how empowered, connected, and hardworking his students of the Regiment were. He creates a sense of belonging that gives the students of Desert Hot Springs a feeling of safety and support. From that sense of belonging the students are empowered to soar to incredible heights AND just as importantly, that sense of belonging has the kids reaching back with their other arm to help their family in the Regiment continue on their own path to success as well. Brian has transformed each school at which he has worked and has had a long lasting impact on the community of Desert Hot Springs at large. Moreover, that belonging that has been instilled has made pockets of transformation wherever his students go. These pockets continue to link up and are increasing his impact across the nation and the world. Brian McDaniel IS a life changer and we are proud to have him in our community.

Erin Fox Posted over a year ago

Dr. McDaniel is one of the most driven and motivated educators I have ever had the honor to work with. He is passionate about the growth of all students and the enrichment of their lives through music education. As a teacher myself, I am inspired by his selflessness and his desire to make a positive change in the world through his work with students. He is absolutely one of the very best in the profession!

Barrie Sacks Posted over a year ago

Keep on shining McDaniel’s as you light up all your students are a true leader...

Zach Posted over a year ago

Dr McDaniel has changed a lot of lives he has and will support his students through the dark and the light

Jasmine Ortiz Posted over a year ago

McDaniel has been a role model in my life he has helped me tough times, he’s a great teacher that helps me get through my days and inspires me to do better in life!

Sophia Posted over a year ago

Dr.McDaniel is a very inspiring teacher and changes most of people’s life. He is always tries to make us happy if we’re down he finds a way to make us in a better mood.

Danika Posted over a year ago

McDaniel is the best teacher and he turned me in to a better person and I’m happy to have I’m in my life!

Zach Posted over a year ago

Dr mcdaniel is my favorite teacher and he inspires other kids to work hard and to do good

Amy Posted over a year ago

Dr. McDaniel has been my teacher for 3 years and since then he’s been building a band and choir named the Regiment. I really appreciate that I’m part of this group and that Dr.McDaniel is the one that brought it all together. He’s been there for a lot of us and I’m super thankful for that! He is beyond all expectations!

Dariana Posted over a year ago

Dr. McDaniel has been an amazing teacher for over the three years I have as him for, I went on tour for those three years and they were all amazing experiences and I will not be forgetting that ever! The program him and the Regiment have built, is a great safe place and somewhere I know a lot people feel safe in! There are many stories we’ve heard and experienced where he has either made a life better or changed their life for well! I personally feel like I became a better person by the music that I play with my band, not only does it always brighten up my mood but makes me feel a relief. He always told us that music can be a solution that can get us to keep moving forward! He knows that music is an amazing way to help someone out and I know that has helped me as well! Since young I have struggled with controlling my emotions mostly anger, and being in this amazing program has helped me take all those emotions in an un-harmful way which is through music!! That is why I think Dr. Brian McDaniel should receive the “Life Changer Award”

Kaia Posted over a year ago

It doesn’t matter how far you look into the horizon you will never find the end to its beauty that’s what Dr.mcdaniel is to me. Dr.Mcdaniel is far beyond anyone I have ever knew, the power in which his words hold, or his will to succeed. His power to inspire does not go unnoticed and he has helped countless of students down the right path. I will be right by his side when he makes Desert Hot Springs the best city in the world and the Regiment stretch world wide. He sees the potential in his students the to be the best and will not stop until every student is at her/his best. The line at which ocean and land meet, the two lands mending as one even though the differences they withhold is what he hopes to do in the world. He will never cease to amaze me and anyone else he comes across. He taught me to live a life without limits.

Cassie Denman Posted over a year ago

Dr.McDaniel is the Dumbledore to my Harry. He shows me the light and how to fix what’s wrong. Dr.McDaniel compares to Neville Long bottom, he was once a boy who thought he was nothing, who thought everyone was better than him, then he stepped in to save everyone (his students) he became a hero for everyone. He has helped me become very successful throughout the past 2 years I have been in his class. Dr. Brian McDaniel is the light for us students, Expecto Patronum! #WandsUp

Alivia Galvan-Varoz Posted over a year ago

Dr.Brian McDaniel is one of the most inspiring teachers in painted hills middle school. He is a inspiring public figure to all students. He shows us all love and respect. Why in my opinion he helps other children glow lights in there heart, he sets an inspiring fire in all of his students. He sets a dream for us that we start to see in our life's we feel now to accomplish our goals in life he sets important objectives in all of his students lives, he strives to learn every single student’s personality, to see what we’re about. And to all of the Regiment members he is our Peter Pan, he takes all the lost boys and he teaches them to fly, to soar for our dreams, live with motivation and happiness. He grabs tinker bell and sprinkle all of her pixie dust on us and, we learn to fly higher beyond the clouds into space to see all the stars and reach the moon. Dr.Brian McDaniel is motivation in other countries, he raises money for the children that don’t have stuff, for the children who don’t know how to play music. In all of his students he sees success and caring hearts and we live to make a difference in this world, To bring something out of the dark in to the clear lights of our lives. To me, he’s my morning motivation, my heart burns when We step into his room, We feel that we can be successful, and confident on who we are. Dr. McDaniel believes in all of his students that we are something to the world, we are here for a reason, we’re here to make differences in the universe. In all of the night’s sky he is the star that shines the brightest. Because of him, I believe I can fly.

Aszya Rain Richard Posted over a year ago

Dr. Brian McDaniel has been my educator for 2 years now, and he has helped me so much. I have been through a lot of family issues and he has always been by my side. He is willing to make Desert Hot Springs a better place for everyone. Dr.Brian McDaniel is beyond inspiring and an idol for me. Especially, helping others and just so amazing. I can’t really describe in words what he means to me, but I think it begins with he is the greatest teacher in the world and a true life changer of the year.

Samantha Suzewitz Posted over a year ago

Dr. Brian McDaniel is one of the best teachers I know. I have been his student for 2 years now he has showed me many things. The many things he showed me is to believe what I can do in the future and to have faith in myself. Something he has told me is “I can, I will, I must” that’s is something I cherish. Dr. Brian McDaniel is an amazing teacher he makes sure his students are on task and okay. He is an inspirational teacher and caring teacher. He impacts his students life. He is one of the best teachers I’ve had. I appreciate the things he does for his students. He’s a teacher I can talk to about my problems and etc. A lot of his students talk to Dr. Brian McDaniel because his students think he is trustworthy but his students aren’t wrong. I remember going on tour on April 6th we had won and it was the greatest moment and if it wasn’t for Dr. Brian McDaniel to inspire us to be the best and to try our best and for him to tell us to practice I don’t even know what would happen. I’m very very thankful that Dr. Brian McDaniel is my teacher and friend.

Diana Minero Posted over a year ago

Dr.McDaniel is an amazing, caring, and inspiring teacher. He will do anything for his students to have an enjoying life. Dr.McDaniel has helped me so much, not just as a student but as a daughter. One memory that will stay in my heart forever was four months ago, a close family member passed and although I had my family by my side Dr.McDaniel helped and explained to me that life isn’t always going to be easy and every hard and awful moment that a person goes through is just a step closer to you leaving the dark and entering your light. Every former student of his has a lesson that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. He’s worked so hard to build the regiment to help people learn about what family really is, the Regiment is a family that people are lucky to have because the Regiment is not just a program that people learn to play instruments in the Regiment is a program he created to help people feel home and let them do what they love with their family.

Ciera geraci Posted over a year ago

Dr.McDaniel is an amazing teacher because he has changed so many lives including mine. I remember I was a 5th grader he was so close to his students lives he would go to family gatherings and parties, he went to my sisters quince and he came up to me and said hey sweets what’s your name I continued “ciera” he told me your going to painted hills middle school right I said yes he told me to join his either band or choir program. I joined band and everyday he continues teaching me lessons just the other day he taught us about our heavens he asked us what’s your heaven like. My heaven is in my moms arms some people said on a island or alone. Everyday he teaches me a new lesson that I carry with me I will always carry his lessons with me. One time he taught us about a kid who was called pork chop the kid loved pork chops until everybody at school called him that so to this day he hates pork chops everyday I try to make a change he tells us in the world change is needed and we need to come together to change. Every year he tries to take as much kids as possible out of a 20 mile distance from desert hot springs this year he took us to universal studios to compete and we had a blast I’ve never have an experience like that before. It was crazy spending the night in a hotel with your best friends, going to universal with your best friends when we won everybody cried because it was the best feeling ever. Every year he continues to change people’s lives on tour he has been doing it for years and if you ask former students, they’ll say they have no regrets in joining the program. The band and choir isn’t a program it’s family.

Andrea sanchez Posted over a year ago

Dr.McDaniel showed me to live in the moment and appreciate people and things that I have. I always enjoy talking to him and the fact that I was able to be taught by him is really incredible and a very cool experience. As I head to high school next year I will look back fondly on my time at Painted Hills with Dr. McDaniel. He made my middle school experience exciting. Life Changer of the Year for sure.

Paola Medina Posted over a year ago

Dr.McDaniel has been my teacher for 3 years, he has taught me how to play trumpet and trombone. He is like a father figure to me and has changed my views of school, which I used to think was boring and annoying. His class made me love coming to school and work hard to keep my grades up. This year I was able to attend the WorldStrides Music Festival with Dr. McDaniel where we earned a gold rating and took overall sweepstakes. Everyone was in total shock when we won. I will never forget the impact Dr. McDaniel made on my life. He is my life changer.