Dr. Rafael McDaniel Retires After 49 Years of Service
Dr. Rafael McDaniel has served is so many capacities in three different school system, Bessemer City, Vestavia Hills, and Jefferson County Schools. He has been a teacher, principal, school group director and director of four different departments, human resources, information technology, maintenance, and new construction. His nearly five decades of work has left a legacy of making schools safer, newer, and more technically up to date with current technology for JEFCOED students. His total time with Jefferson County School was 31 years. After 49 years of service, he will now be finding new hobbies, meeting new people, riding his tractor, and enjoying his grandchildren and gardening even more.
Local contractors, mayors, architects all know the standard that Dr. Rafael McDaniel determined and lived by. Do it right or prepare to do it over, or you will not get paid. That was law in all of his dealings. Hanging in his office was a sign by Lisa Fernandez and it said, “ I make my weaknesses by strengths and my strengths stronger. A great motto for anyone,anytime.
Another legacy of Dr. Mac’s are his four fine children, who are so very successful. David, an aeronautical engineer, Steven, a teacher at JCIB Irondale Campus, Monica, a doctor in Wyoming, and Deah, an aide in Pre-K at Pinson Elementary.
Dr. Mac and his three different administrative assistants, Michele Best and Darlene Holder, and for two years, Ann Underwood, oversaw the architects, contractors, and subcontractors for the creation, production, monitoring, and finishing of the 23 projects costing approximately $400 million across this county. Projects included 13 brand new buildings, many major renovations, and classroom additions. All communities in JEFCOED shared in the benefits of the $1.2 billion dollar penny tax money. The rough formula was for each student in the different 13 school systems to get a pro rata share of $10,000 per student. At the time JEFCOED had 40,000 students and their divvied amount from the $1.2 billion shared by all students in the 13 school systems within Jefferson County was $400 million.
Actually, the total new construction and renovations and additions were closer to $650 million if one includes projects back to the year 2000. The penny tax money became available in January 2007, but was voted upon August 2004, spending more than two years in court before it was distributed in early 2007.
JCEA’s Tracey Binion read a certificate and Mary Ann Hayward and Sheila Jones of AFT presented a banner of candy bars and read a ditty comprising the candy bars’ names within the story. Board members and the superintendent all commented separately about Dr. Mac’s service and Dr. Martha Bouyer read the board’s resolution.