Spotlight on Past Board Chair Bruce McDaniel
When Partnership Scholars Program was forming in 1996, Dr. Bruce McDaniel was entering his first year as the Superintendent of the Lennox School District. Along with then-Assistant Principal of Lennox Middle School and current PSP Board Chair Meg Sanchez, Bruce was approached by PSP’s founder, Dr. Glenn Langer, with an opportunity to support the creation of this new college-access program. While familiar with other mentorship programs, Bruce saw PSP as having the potential for an even greater impact on students. “The notion of pairing up scholars with mentors was something that I was strongly in favor of and that I knew was a successful way of assisting students,” says Bruce. “At that time we had a mentoring program at the middle school, but this was doing far more mentoring with far more resources and following it up through the end of high school.” The benefits were clear to Bruce and he sanctioned PSP’s formation.
Initially, Bruce’s involvement in the program was relatively limited. “Each year I would go to the induction and events like that, and provide my support [of PSP] continuing in Lennox,” says Bruce. It wasn’t until 2010 when Bruce retired that he became not only a supporter of the program, but a deeply involved volunteer and member of the organization’s leadership. After 15 years of working alongside PSP, he was asked to join the Board of Trustees. “I knew the program was highly successful and I felt I had some things to offer in terms of my background and the connections I had made as superintendent,” says Bruce. “As a person entering retirement it was a nice way of keeping involved in the community I had worked with for so many years.”
Almost immediately upon joining the PSP Board, Bruce was nominated as Board Chair and he went on to serve a three year term from 2011 to 2013. His work with the Board has mostly centered on his deep connections and relationships with the many agencies he worked with during his time at the Lennox School District. He has been helpful in recruiting several new members to the PSP Board. The perspective that he brings from management in education has been central to the development of some of the organization’s central policies.
Over the six years Bruce has now spent on the board, he has seen Partnership Scholars Program change quite a bit. “The organization has matured and grown,” says Bruce. “Some of the things that were in place but not ‘memorialized’ we have a little better refined.” On the whole, he has seen more procedures put in place and the organization become more structured. Looking forward, Bruce sees his role on the board as being integral in helping achieve some larger goals for the organization as a whole, including further refining the financial tracking systems, better utilization of technology and social media, and more board recruitment.
Each year, Bruce is consistently awed by how many incredible stories there are of perseverance and accomplishment by graduates of PSP. “I spent 40 years in public education and have been involved in a lot of different programs,” says Bruce. “I have never found another program that has had the kind of impact on students’ lives as Partnership Scholars.”
Bruce currently serves on three working committees of the PSP Board of Trustees: The Executive, Governance and Finance Committees.