MAGNA — Utah educator Rob McDaniel is returning to his roots next week after accepting the position of principal at Cyprus High School.

McDaniel, who currently serves as assistant superintendent of the Murray School District, was named to the position at Cyprus during Tuesday's meeting of the Granite School Board. He will officially join the school Thursday.

The midyear switch comes after Cyprus Principal Stephen K. Hess accepted a district-level position to oversee a grant, Granite spokesman Ben Horsley said.

"We wanted to find a good fit for that particular community, someone who knew the community and had been a part of it and could really push Cyprus High to some new academic levels," Horsley said. "Rob McDaniel had excellent credentials and experience and has been a member of that community and is excited to take on that challenge."

Prior to joining Murray School District, McDaniel served as a principal in Granite District at both the junior high and high school levels, Horsley said, where he was known for effectively working with at-risk student populations.

"For somebody who is from the Magna community to be able to go back to their own community and potentially make a difference, I think that was an exciting challenge for him," Horsley said.

McDaniel said he considered the number of years he expects to continue as an educator and decided he wanted to be back "in the trenches." He said he looks forward to working with the faculty and staff at Cyprus to see what's working well and what can be improved.

"I wanted to get back into schools," he said of his decision. "I’m excited to spend a lot of time in classrooms and a lot of time out and about with the students just getting to know who’s there."

D. Wright, Murray School District spokeswoman, said McDaniel's position will remain unfilled for the duration of the current school year. She said his assignments will be redistributed, and any staffing decisions related to his position will be addressed during the summer months.

"We’re a small district, and things are in place until the end of the year," Wright said, "so we feel we can adjust it among our administrative and support staff."

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