LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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David Arledge

Position: Ninth Grade Principal
School: McCluer North High School
School District: Ferguson-Florissant School District
City, State: Florissant, MO

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David Arledge was nominated by Anna Balogh, the parent of a student, as well as his former student, Aliyah Peck.

"I met Mr. Arledge during my oldest daughter's junior year. Gloria was having issues, and when I reached out to Mr. Arledge, he took charge of the situation," said Balogh. "While dealing with Gloria's issues, he got to know our family and found out about my youngest daughter. He offered to help us transition my daughter for high school, and he built a relationship with her, where she had someone to trust and feel comfortable to talk to. He made the suggestion to talk to the head principal and see if he can be my youngest daughter's principal once she enters high school."

"That summer, my daughter ended up in the hospital, and Mr. Arledge was there to visit when they discharged her. He reassured her that he will be there for her when school starts. And he was," said Balogh. "People do this for friends and family, but I don't see educators do this. He was showing my child at her most vulnerable state, that there are people outside her bubble who care about her."

"The endless amount of time I have visited the school, I've seen him interact with staff and students a lot," said Balogh. "It amazes me how much he genuinely cares about the people he is surrounded with. I wish there would be more of his "kind," because our kids need a role model like him!"

"Mr. Arledge is the most genuinely active teacher I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet," said Peck. "During his time as my teacher, he guided me to be the best possible me that I could be. He is loving and understanding, and he treats his students and staff with respect. Mr. Arledge always made school feel as comfortable as home, and I am forever grateful to have had him be a part of my transition from a high schooler to a young adult. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love Mr. Arledge. He is so much more than a principal. He is a father, a friend, a shoulder to cry on, and that extra push you need to be believe in yourself. Mr. Arledge will always be the LifeChanger of the Year to me."



Comments (16)


Blaire Posted 8 months ago

Oh shoot! He’s a principal now??? That’s fitting :)

Blaire Posted 8 months ago

Shoot. Can he get the award this year just because every other year he helped his students and DIDN’T get one?? He was my teacher...let me do the math...20 years ago. He was an awesome, approachable teacher back then and it’s obvious he still is now.

Suzanne Harlamert Posted 8 months ago

Mr. Arledge is a great encouragement to students and faculty alike. He always greets you with a big smile and a positive attitude. When he is with students, whether in a casual conversation in the hallway or in a situation where he is having to deal with issues, you can see and hear his genuine care and concern for them. Mr. Arledge is a wonderful presence and positive influence at McCluer North.

Kaitlynn volkmann Posted 8 months ago

When i was a junior and I was going through some very hard times mr arledge went above and beyond to make sure i was not falling behind in school. He helped me so much during the time i was at mccluer north and i cant thank him enough. I have never met someone who didnt love mr.arledge because he truly tries to make an impact on each students life and its very obvious that he actually cares about every single student and faculty member at that school

Lashante Posted 8 months ago

It’s been over a decade since I entered the doors of Mr.Arledges classroom.I remember the facad I put on to shield myself from the world around me, the anger and resentment the feeling of not belonging & worthlessness. That was, until I walked into those doors. Mr. Arledge wasn’t just a teacher in a classroom just to teach n go home, he was a friend, a protector, a positive energy that created a positive space everywhere he went. He seemed to always know how to make us as students feel cared for, that we mattered, that we were smart and always knew how to cheer us up n break out of our shells and engage in the class room even when we felt the world was crumbling around us. I moved 2000+ miles from home not too long ago and as I was going through a box of belongings when I had found a project I had done for one of his assignments and read the short story I had written and it had brought me back to the day I had turned it in. I remember feeling uncertain and like it was garbage but he read it immediately and for the first time in a very long time I was flooded with excited compliments. I was floored with emotions as it had felt as not only seen but appreciated n for the first time I had hope for a better future. I never really had a chance to thank him for that, however, I think it’s long over due. Thank you for being such an amazing human being and educator Mr. Arledge you taught me more than curriculum, you taught me that kindness and positive energy can change a persons life.

Vanessa Frey Posted 8 months ago

Arledge ALWAYS makes time for me when I need him, whatever the reason. And he does this for everyone. He says that we are family at North, and he isn't just saying it. You can feel that he is real. We have had a lot of principals come and go, but he is one that truly makes a difference in the lives of his students and the lives of the staff. We would NOT be the same without him.

Amy Hancock Posted 8 months ago

My favorite thing about David Arledge is that he supports EVERYONE’S cause. Pommies have a competition on a snowy day in January - Arledge is there to support them. McCluer North volunteers at the Food Bank on a Saturday - Arledge is the first to sign-up. MN Strong has a trivia night to raise scholarship money - Arledge is there (in fantastic costume) to sell 50-50 tickets. That supportive feeling that he gives students and teachers is invaluable to a school community. And it makes him a Life Changer.

Ashley Kilcullen Posted 8 months ago

There’s nobody else out there like Mr. Arledge. He’s the type of principal that would end up on the Ellen show some day. I’ve been teaching at the school for 7 years and there was a major energy shift when Arledge came to our school as a principal. On the very first day of school I knew he was going to be great for McCluer North as I watched him be so genuine greeting all of the students with high fives and smiles as they entered the building. He’s now the freshmen principal and the kids truly love and respect him. They know how much he cares about them and that he truly believes in them. They understand he has high expectations for them and knows they can be successful and he will do whatever it takes to make that happen. He inspires me as a teacher anytime I watch him talk to a student. The way he knows how to build up a student who is down or inspire a student who hasn’t been on their best behavior lately. He’s actually brought tears to my eyes on multiple occasions this year alone from the way he knows how to build our students up, even when they are at their lowest moments. There is not one student at MN that would ever feel like their principal Mr. Arledge doesn’t care about them. His life is dedicated to being the best person he can be for his students and he treats them like they are his own kids. MN is lucky to have such a genuine person as one of our leaders who has the most passionate and positive energy for our students. Every time Mr. Arledge enters my classroom my students faces and my face for that matter light up with smiles, because that is the energy he brings wherever he goes. I know he’s made a mark on me as a teacher and on all of the hundreds of students at McCluer North. He is certainly a life changer!

Aria Amrein Posted 8 months ago

So thankful that I had him as a principal. #followourlead

Sheryl Perry Posted 9 months ago

David Arledge, aka DA, Dedicated to working hard to support the educational community he serves and Admired by all for his commitment to our youth. He's genuine and his efforts are sincere. He is a Life Changer!

Pam Bredenkamp Posted 9 months ago

When Mr. Arledge says "these are my kids" - he means it! He never stops encouraging them to do good. He teaches and encourages the kids to be ambassadors for themselves and the school. He also is not one to stand back and watch. When a situation is brought to his attention he gets to work - even during long Christmas vacations - while driving home from Oklahoma - he's one it; and gets resolution. He is a well educated, well spoken, principal that is not afraid to show his "fun side". Always coming up with fun ideas to keep his class as a community within the school. "Dress like a Minion" for Halloween was a favorite!

Mary Kurtz Posted 9 months ago

David never gives up on a student. He makes them feel safe, helps them see the best in themselves, and makes them laugh. The kids perk up every time he stops by my classroom to see them. If anyone deserves the title of life changer, it is David.

Jamie Scott Posted 9 months ago

EVERYONE on campus knows Dr Arledge because he is FOREVER taking selfies with students and staff and then posting his pride, his joy, and his love for others on social media. It's easy to see why both students and parents love him for his opened arms and family approach to educational leadership. David Arledge is a genuine example of a man who is in one moment a "walking tall" example of tough love, and in the next moment he's a giant 5-year old in an elf suite reminding students that school CAN be both productive and fun. I support David Arledge as a life changer for the reasons you DON'T see.... the heart felt student conferences and parent meetings that demonstrate that he wants EVERYONE'S child to be as loved, and supported, and disciplined as his own children are. His discreet encouragement, assistance, and helping hand leaves students and colleagues feeling blessed but not beholding. Dr Arledge KNOWS his school community and is an accurate and effective advocate for us all. Most valuable though, is his unyielding commitment to bringing the best he has to offer the school community every day. His humanness makes it ok to be fallible, his optimism creates hope and his joy keeps a light burning when so many are still looking for a match. I would really like to continue to work side by side with this life-changing educator for years to come!

Brittany Posted 9 months ago

You are the best principal that anybody could ask for. You believed in everyone, making a positive impact on all of us!

Sidney King Posted 9 months ago

Mr.Arledge, Is the type of principal one dreams of having! The type of colleague that makes the hard days EASY and the good days BETTER. He is one of the best I’ve ever seen in this line of work. The opportunity to follow him as a leader, was magical. I am forever thankful! I am grateful kids get to experience him!

Yolonda Davis Posted 9 months ago

David is THAT Educator! You know, the one you still remember 20 years later and reminisce about what an impact they made in your life in those tumultuous teenage years? Yep, that's David Arledge. It's no surprise he has been nominated not once but twice! Anyone David has come in contact with would second Ms. Balogh's sentiments. David brings an kindness infused energy to school every day. He walks "his talk". Our students and staff believe he cares because he shows he cares. When he encourages them to keep pushing through a difficult day or by helping them make "course corrections" when life tries to push them off path. He shows he cares by celebrating successes, whether small or large. He is not only an Educator, he is a Motivator and a Mentor. He goes above and beyond every time. I am honored to work with David and be part of the positive change he and many others are effecting in the Ferguson-Florissant School District.