LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Andy Mizell

Position: ESL English Teacher
School: Margaret Allen Middle School
School District: Metro Nashville Public Schools
City, State: Nashville, TN

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Andy Mizell was nominated by his former student, Mariam Kalds.

Mr. Mizell is an amazing educator to everyone who passes through his classroom. When Kalds was a student at Margaret Allen Middle School, she had Mr. Mizell as her English teacher.

"He has been an amazing help, not only to me, but to every student who has experienced having him," Kalds said. "He always cared about students as individuals, instead of how good their test scores were."

Kalds recalls a specific assignment where they had to write about their positive and negative qualities.

"As I was brainstorming, I burst into tears," Kalds said. "I went home, as it was the last block of the school day. The following day, Mr. Mizell came into my first block and asked my teacher if he could take a moment to speak with me. So, he did, and I revealed to him my life experiences that affected me so much to the point that I broke down in the middle of my English class."

Since then, Mr. Mizell has become Kalds's personal listener. Whenever she felt down, he was always there to comfort her. He is an educator who leaves his door open and encourages students to talk to him about anything.

"I watched as many students shared their difficulties with him, and he listened patiently," Kalds said. "One of the challenges he prepared me to face was passing my ESL exam. He supported me, believed in me and taught me to believe in myself. He also helped me improve my academic knowledge in order to pass this exam through the classroom work."

During the course of that school year, Mr. Mizell exposed Kalds and her classmates to other individuals who have had struggles in their lives and learned to get past them.

"When we were learning about poems and songs, Mr. Mizell included the song, 'I Lived' by OneRepublic, which was dedicated to a teen suffering from cystic fibrosis who made the best out of his life," Kalds said.

Throughout the year, Mr. Mizell also had his class learn about the Holocaust and its survivors. After reading books about the Holocaust, some students were chosen to attend a speech given by a survivor. They were also given the opportunity to ask them questions. Mr. Mizell has also built the Eva Kors Fountain of Forgiveness, which was created after the passing of one of his former students. This experience pushed him to get more creative with his teaching methods and encourage students to learn from their experiences. Mr. Mizell and his students helped in the construction of the Fountain of Forgiveness and performed other projects as well.

"The hardship of losing one of his students had a great impact on him, but it also encouraged him to pursue his goal of helping other students," Kalds said. "This goal was the reason he wanted to become a teacher in the first place, after his trip to Ghana after graduating with an art major!"

Mr. Mizell also started the "Give a Hoot, Donate Fruit" movement, where students donated food to homeless shelters, instead of throwing it away. They also spent the day in the shelter serving meals to those in need.

"Mr. Mizell's help lasted long after I had him as a student. It gave purpose to my life again and made me appreciate what I have," Kalds said. "When I didn't have any hope, Mr. Mizell came along and renewed it. Out of the six schools I went to, the 240 teachers I saw, and the 60 I dealt closely with, I have not seen any teacher who truly loves his students and his job as much as Mr. Mizell does."

Comments (11)

Mariam Posted over a year ago

Mr.Mizell is the best teacher I have ever encountered in my life. Not only as an English teacher but as life advisor too. Almost every activity I did in his class had to involve my emotions, feelings and experiences throughout my life in order to build a greater one. I remember the time before taking the ESL exam, I tried to purposely get the questions wrong to stay in the ESL class. He came and talked to me about the decision that I made and he was not my teacher at that time. I was surprised by how he managed to tell me what I did was wrong. After the talk, I was so glad that I missed up the test because that gave me a chance to experience his class. And here I am now, I will be taking the AP language and composition in my junior year. No words can describe you Mr.Mizell, Thank you!!

Manar Posted over a year ago

Mr.Mizell is probably one of the most caring teachers I’ve ever met. His help to me as a student throughout my middle school is the reason I will be one of the few students taking an AP Language class as a highschool senior. He didn’t just help me, but he always challenged me and made me think harder by pushing me to do stuff that are above my level. He wasn’t just a teacher who taught us English; however, he taught us life skills like caring for others and helping those in need. During my middle school time, we used to collect the food my peers don’t eat and he weekly took me and a group of other students to the Nashville rescue mission and Room in the In to give the food we collected to those who need it: setting a great example for us as young adults and experiencing the happiness of helping those in need. His care for his students don’t just last along the time he teaches them, but those friendships he creats with his student last for a lifetime.

jossibel Posted over a year ago

Mr.Mizell is probably the calmest teacher i've ever had he's very kind, funny, helpful and so much more. He trys to find the fun out of everything and I enjoy being in his class room because I don't just get to learn things but I also experience new things.

katya garzona Posted over a year ago

Mr. Mizell is the best teacher I know he always doing something good for someone, the good thing is the can trust, when you have problems you can come to him and he would understand you not always but he just trying to make you feel good talking about getting all those things out, another thing is the no matter how serious he is, he would always try to make you laugh no matter how sad, mad, depressed, you are he would talk to you. He would let you do a lot of stuff but always be doing your work, but we love mr. mizell I glad I'm I he's class because he teach like so calm not scream like other teachers he always paying attention to us when we need something he always try to make the best for help others. The thing I like about Mr.Mizell the he is pacient not like other teachers he do the best for the students to be good and to not make bad choices because he don't want you to be in bad things like drugs. I'm a 8 grade and I will miss him in his class because is not going to be the same thing like it was in his class. He the better teacher you would proud to have :-). Att: Katya Mariela Garzona Castro (8 grade).

francesca ;) Posted over a year ago

well mr. mizell is a really good teacher even thought I don't like to read books well I'm being honest but we have a really communication and he always does with all his students at school he always want us to feel welcome in his classroom and share if we have any problems he does a lot of projects and he loves to help people he always has a smile on his face, I had learn a lot of English I thought this class was going to be really hard for me but it is sometimes, but he know we can do anything in life if we put effort in it. I'm gonna miss this teacher a lot I can tell you a lot of things that he have done for us and for other students we did a project about eva kor she is a survivor of a concentration camp then we painting the fence outside of our school about all the school tragedies. he don't think teaching is just to teach is to make kids learn about the reality of life and to never give up in your dreams he just want people to change like I do but if just people het to know him y'all would be really surprise that he is a good teacher and he always would be. he's dream is too stay in the school the longest he can because he loves his job everyday he has something new for us when he's gonna make some copies he always keep a smile on thanks for everything aight I'm done !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maya shaker Posted over a year ago

Mr. Mizell is a very supporting teacher he actually is a helper he support you whenever you are sad he is a very comfortable person that you can talk to whenever your sad he helped me a lot with my life not as a teacher as a friend and he also he supported my language he is very nice he never ells and we don't let him get mad he is very helpful and if I kept on talking from now until tomorrow I will never stop talking about him he is my favorite teacher and he is a leader and once I had a problem he sat with me and he solved it and he teach us how to be ourselves and don't let anybody ruin our life I love him so much am very lucky to be in his class and we did a lot of projects together like what about us and Eva's kortyard thank you for every thing Mr. Mizell

Jazmin Posted over a year ago

Mr. Mizell he is a good teacher he is a lot fun he do a lot of fun thing in the class room he a very good teacher!

awien bol Posted over a year ago

Mr.Mizell is a very fun and very cool teacher and I am very lucky to be in his class.

evelin hernandez rubio Posted over a year ago

Mr.Mizell is a good teacher because he does very fun projects with us because he thought doing Eva's Kortyard and we finished it TOGETHER and we are now do a project about people who lost their lives in school tragites and we are about to finish it but people are coming to the school and help us finish it and it's all help from Mr.Mizell so I think Mr.Mizell deserves a award this award Thank You, Evelin Hernandez Rubio

yenisse delgado Posted over a year ago

Why he is a good teacher is because he makes eveything so much fun then he makes it sound.

linette Posted over a year ago

Mr.Mizell is a great teacher i had never seen no one like hime i think he had made an impact in about any one of his students life. he cares about his students and others so much. he feels like everyone is special in their own way. he is the only teacher i feel comfortable talking with he makes classes interesting in his own way he has mad in impact on my life . I have learned so much in his class that things i never knew before. the projects we had done had really changed my life for example the one knight project which was to have a special night for the children with special needs he next project is he evas kortyard which is to represent people who died in the holocaust the fountain of forgiveness because eva kor forgave the rial road to resurrection and the butterflies and the last but not least the ''what about us'' project to represent the people who died in school incident.this teacher ad really changed my life i learned to forgive and that everyone is alike on the inside this is why i think he should win the award