As Athletic Secretary of the Year, McDaniels received a plaque and championship ring, but receiving the honor meant much more to McDaniels.
“It’s amazing,” McDaniels said. “I didn’t know about the award and we had a pep rally for our girls basketball team and they announced it in front of the whole assembly as a surprise to me. It was awesome. I cried and I was shocked. I’ve cried several times since I’ve gotten this thing. It’s an emotional thing for me.
“To be named secretary of the year, that’s pretty honorable and exciting. It’s just a great honor to be recognized for this award. I never thought I would get it. It’s really been humbling. I’m very proud of the fact that I received this award. It doesn’t come around very often. I just do what I do and do the best that I can, but to be recognized is terrific. I’ll absolutely be wearing that ring every day.”
While McDaniels, who has been Reed’s athletic secretary since 2002, was surprised by the acknowledgment, those who work with her on a regular basis saw every reason for her to receive Athletic Secretary of the Year.
“She is extremely deserving,” Reed football head coach Ernie Howren said. “It’s about time. She’s our best kept secret at Reed and now it’s out. She always works so hard and she’s definitely put her time in. She puts a lot of energy into that school. She takes care of me so much during the football season and I know that she does the same thing for every other coach. She makes you feel like she’s your personal secretary because she does so much for us and she is constantly keeping us up-to-date on everything. From bus schedules, attendance, rosters, you name it, she is on top of it all the time. I just can’t say enough great things about how much she helps us day in and day out during the season.”
The job that McDaniels does for the Blue and Gold goes beyond paperwork though.
“One thing I do know is that as athletic secretary, she’s involved with the athletes and takes an interest in the kids,” Raiders head baseball coach Ray Charles said. “She’s always at all the games, whether they’re playoff games or just a scrimmage. Any activity we have at Reed I always see her working the gate and helping people. She helps with every entity of athletics, whether it’s boosters or working with the coaches.”
It is that love and support that McDaniels has for the students that Raiders AD Ron Coombs said so many people have taken notice of.
“Aside from doing the job well, she knows pretty much every athlete at our school and every athlete at our school knows her,” Coombs said. “She goes above and beyond in everything. I think the most important thing is that she really cares about Reed High School and really cares about the athletes here at Reed. She just cares so much about the well-being of the students and their health and grades. You can’t talk to an athlete at Reed High School who hasn’t had a positive experience with Cindy.
“She has an amazing work ethic. She is here well past closing time and she’s usually here before the school closes in the morning. She puts an enormous amount of time and effort and energy into making sure that our athletes are getting the best possible services that they can. She does everything in her job with the kids in mind. I think that’s what separates her from the pack and makes her incredibly deserving of this honor.”
Others at Reed echoed the same sentiment.
“She’s so close with the kids, she’s like their parent,” Howren said. “If they have some kind of paperwork that needs to get taken care of, she is personally attending to it herself and calling students down. You will always see her at every football game, every basketball game, every event, boys and girls. It doesn’t matter what the sport is, you’re going to see Cindy McDaniels there at some point. We as coaches and parents, we’re the kids biggest fans, and she’s definitely right up there with supporting the kids at Reed High School.”
The experience and relationships that McDaniels has with the Raider student-athletes is what she holds so dearly and considers the most rewarding part of her job.
“It gives me great pride to be a member of Reed High School where I can have the opportunity to be involved in the students’ education and to see the other side of their school career with the athletic portion,” she said. “You get to see them grow and be successful and going on to do bigger and better things. That’s why we’re here. We’re here for the students.
“That’s the best part of my job. Getting to help students in their athletic aspects as well as their school aspects is absolutely the best part. It’s a real plus for me to be able to help them and get to know them better as far as their academic success in the classroom goes. I get to see their achievements on the field as well as off. It’s nice to be a small part of that. It’s nice to have a relationship with the coaches and the athletic director and being a part of the Reed staff, but ultimately it’s all about the students and all about them being successful and making sure their time here at Reed High School is a good one.”
For McDaniels, every day with the Raider Nation is a good one, but spending the next year as the reigning Athletic Secretary of the Year will be extra special.