• Principal's Welcome Message

    Welcome to Gaines Elementary School’s website. I am incredibly blessed to serve as the principal of a school with a dedicated staff, supportive families, and over 500 wonderful children.

    Our school’s affirmation, “We Make Gaines,” challenges our adults to do the hard work necessary, every day, to ensure that every child is able to reach his or her full potential. Our faculty and staff members work diligently and creatively to meet the needs of all students, including English-language learners, students with disabilities, and gifted learners. We enhance instruction by offering classes in the areas of Art, Music, Physical Education, STEM Enrichment, and Social-Emotional Learning. Additionally, our students have the opportunities to develop as leaders by serving on the Student Council and serving as Safety Patrols.  

    All of our staff members are highly qualified, and many have advanced degrees and endorsements in areas such as Gifted Education and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

    Our children love to come to school every day, and they truly believe in our refrain, “When you miss school, you miss out!" Our mascot is the Golden Eagle, and our children are “Eagle Scholars.”  

    If you are a current or prospective parent, I invite you to become involved in your child's education by volunteering in the classroom and participating in events and activities that occur throughout the school year. The partnership between home and school is strengthened by your involvement, and we look forward to working with you. WE Make Gaines! 


    Luther McDaniel, PhD

  • About the Principal


    Dr. Luther McDaniel - Proud leader of the Golden Eagle Nation!

    Doctor of Philosophy: Mercer University (2017), Educational Leadership
    Master of Science: Jacksonville State University (2005), Educational Administration
    Bachelor of Arts: Berry College (1999), History

    L-7 Certification in Educational Leadership
    L-7 Certification in History, Economics, Geography, Political Science, and Behavioral Science

    Work Experience
    2019-Present: Principal, Gaines Elementary School, Athens, GA
    2008-2019:  Principal, Whitehead Road Elementary School, Athens, GA
    2007-2008: Assistant Principal, Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School, Athens, GA
    2005-2007:  Assistant Principal, Rome High School, Rome, GA
    2000-2005:  Teacher (U.S. History), Rome High School, Rome, GA