Maryville Saint Named Parkway Southwest Middle Teacher of the Year

Neil Daniels II was recognized by his peers and students as the Parkway Southwest Middle School Teacher of the Year. He has taught for nine years and currently teaches seventh-grade world history.

“This award means a lot to me and is greatly appreciated, especially because my peers selected me for the honor,” Daniels said. “I don’t have one single accomplishment that I am most proud of. Every day and every opportunity grants me the chance to learn and grow. I try to pass this onto my students.”

Daniels said the award is also meaningful because it recognizes his nontraditional teaching methods. “I’m not what you call a ‘traditional’ teacher,” he said. “I teach using the Love and Logic method, which means that my classroom management is based on students reflecting on their behaviors and finding ways to fix them. I also use the Socratic method, so I question more than I answer.”

Outside of the classroom, Daniels has served as a Parkway National Education Association executive board member for eight years including serving as treasurer for three years and a member of the negotiation team for three years.

He is also completing a doctorate of educational leadership at Maryville University. His work focuses on the impact of African American boys in suburban schools. The program’s cohort plan, consisting of 15 to 20 students who advance through their classes together, builds a permanent network of trusted colleagues. “I truly enjoy the cohort process,” Daniels said. “The support from my professors and from the members of my cohort is extremely beneficial.”

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