Craig McDaniel brings a variety of life experiences including years of working with children with developmental and behavioral disorders to Heartspring.
Craig took a different path to finding the right career than many psychologists. After high school, he attended culinary school and received a degree in culinary arts. After 10 years of working as a chef and cook in restaurants and hotels, he went back to school to be an elementary education teacher and football coach. While completing his undergraduate degree, he worked as a para-educator in a psychiatric residential treatment facility. He then reassessed his career path again, and finished his degree in elementary education and went on to receive his master’s degree in special education. He taught emotionally and behaviorally disabled students for seven years within a comprehensive middle school. While working as a special education teacher, he completed his master’s degree in educational psychology and a specialist’s degree in school psychology from Wichita State University.
Currently, he is completing his doctoral dissertation for a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership. He is a licensed elementary teacher, kindergarten through high school adapted special education teacher, school psychologist, and building level administrator. He is also a nationally certified school psychologist.
He has been a middle school special education teacher, school psychologist, and behavior specialist for several districts within south central Kansas.
He says his time working within the hospitality industry has aided him in his educational roles. The greatest chefs he worked with held themselves to very high standards in the execution of their roles and food preparation and they were transparent when they made mistakes. These attributes are two that he strives to hold himself accountable to every day.
Craig’s first title at Heartspring was school psychologist, but in 2016 Craig took on a new role as the Director of Residential Clinical Services. He is now in a more administrative role, responsible for the speech-language pathologists, behavior specialists, psychologists, occupational therapists and school medical staff. The new position allows him to have more of an impact on a programming level.
Craig is married. He and his wife have four children. He enjoys outdoor sports, especially activities that include his family, college football, and occasionally running marathons. His mantra is, “Life is good.”