LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Dvawn Maza

Position: Special Education Resource Reading/Math Teacher
School: Shady Grove Elementary School
School District: Ouachita Parish School Board
City, State: Monroe, LA

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Music that Describes Dvawn

Dvawn Maza was nominated by a family member, Lou Ann Calvert.

For the past 17 years, Ms. Maza has taught at a Title 1 school.  For 16 of those years, she has taught reading and math to special education students at Shady Grove Elementary.  Over the course of these years, she has written, maintained and implemented IEPS. For three of these years, she has served as the Special Education Grade Level Chairperson.
Ms. Maza's dedication to the students of Shady Grove goes well beyond the classroom.  She is the 4-H leader, where she has worked with the students on various special projects, such as field trips to do canvas painting, trips to the local veteran’s home to deliver care packages, and trips to local farms and cotton gins.  She has also led the 4-H members in several charitable drives to donate supplies to the Veteran’s Home, Operation Christmas Child, and the NE Louisiana Food Bank.
Other organizations which Ms. Maza participates in are: 

  • SBLC Coordinator:  Helping make decisions to improve student academics. 
  • 504 Coordinator:  Screening students to qualify those for 504 services. 
  • Healthy Communities Team Member:  Helping the school to provide healthy, nutritional food and physical health to the students. 
  • Positive Behavior Team Member:  Helping to affect positive student behavior. 
  • After School Tutor for reading and math:  Tutors struggling students. 
  • Fundraising Committee:  Helps to raise funds for the school 
  • Crisis Team Member:  Takes notes in the event of an emergency. 
  • DIBELS Assessor:  Part of a team that conducts DIBELS testing 3x per year. 
  • Roots Assessor:  Test students to find those to participate in the Success for All Program. 
  • Success for All Wings Teacher:  Certified and teaches students at their function level. 
  • Grant Writing: Ms. Maza wrote, applied for and received three grants for Shady Grove Elementary.  The grants include the Junior League, Whole Kids Foundation and Lowe’s Toolbox for education which allowed her students to implement a school garden.  This allows the students to have hands on experience. 

This may seem like a lot of responsibility - and it is - but Ms. Maza also contributes in other ways that often go unnoticed. She collects coats and other articles of clothing for students who may not be able to afford warm clothing during the winter months. She also gives her own funds quietly when she knows that an underprivileged student may not be able to afford a field trip.

"For Ms. Maza, teaching, caring for and helping students is not a job, it’s her calling," said Calvert. "She has done all of this while being a wife, mother to four children and three step-children, pianist at Emmanuel Baptist Church, chosen Most Valuable Parent for the 2017-2018 school year, PTO Member at East Ouachita Middle School, working at the Desiard Street Homeless Shelter, Pilot Club member and award winner, Moore, OK tornado clean up volunteer, Red Cross Volunteer, T-Ball Coach and finally, a Baseball Coach. If there is a LifeChanger in our community, it is most certainly Ms. Maza."

Comments (26)

Markaye Russell Posted over a year ago

I have know Dvawn for over 15 + years and I have worked with her on many projects. She loves working with kids and and goes above and beyond to give the kids she teaches opportunities that they normally don't get. She is a very talented and hard working person. I am glad to call Dvawn a friend. Congratulations! I wish you the best.

Tara Garlington Posted over a year ago

Dvawn goes above and beyond as 4-H Club Leader at Shady Grove Elementary. She loves children and has a such a giving heart!

LaFreida Hudleston Posted over a year ago

I met Dvawn when she came to our church to play the piano. I can promise you that her piano playing is "over the top". Wow! What a musician!! I know that she always give 150% in everything she does! She is a beautiful, amazing, talented and tireless young lady who knows how to love and help people! Her dedication to her students is exceptional - every student should have her as their teacher! Congratulations, Dvawn! I am proud of you, honored to know you and love that we are sisters in Jesus!

Carolyn Beeson Posted over a year ago

I met Dvawn several years ago when she became our church pianist. I have been the church organist for 21 years and can honestly say she is the most talented musician I have worked with. As the instrumentalists we plan the duets we will play each week. Dvawn doesn’t just play a song—she creates a feeling that translates to a more meaning worship experience for the congregation. I, too, am a teacher and have been in awe if her tireless commitment to her students. As teachers we plant seeds and then nurture them. We know we may not see the seeds blossom but Dvawn doesn’t let that affect her efforts. She constantly creates lessons and experiences that stretch the student in hopes to reach their full potential. Dvawn is definitely a life changer— both in the world of music and in education.

Kim Smith Posted over a year ago

I know Dvawn Maza she loves kids and makes a very good teacher. She has changed many lives for the better.

Mattie Smith Posted over a year ago

Congratulations!! Dvawn on your nomination you’re such a sweet caring person.I’m blessed to call you my friend. Your love for the school shows in all your hard work. You are a LifeChanger.

Ann Bloxom Smuth Posted over a year ago

I met Ms Mazda at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge where I coordinate the First Saturday Kids Program. She’s there every month, helping her stepson explore his incredible interest in nature, especially creepy, crawly animals. Her involvement is total and enthusiastic, and she eventually began to tell my partner and me about her great kids at Shady Grove and all their activities. The more we heard, the more we were impressed with all her efforts, to the point that my partner (author of children’s book Swamper, Letters from a Swamp Rabbit) has now gotten involved in sharing books and fun with Ms Maza’s 4-H kids, exchanging letters and enjoying enthusiasm with the kids. This is the sort of contagion that comes from Ms Mazda. The school system and especially the students (and the whole community!) are lucky to have her with us. She is a Life Changer for sure!

Pam Sapp Posted over a year ago

Dvawn is such a big supporter of making her community better. She has worked diligently to bring an outdoor classroom setting along with gardens to her school to help benefit her community. This involves many hours of physical work as well as mental work that is above and beyond her expected duties. She also works hard with the 4Hers at her school to teach them how to serve their community. I think she definitely deserves to be honored with this LifeChanger award.

Darnell Whittington Posted over a year ago

I have known Mrs. Maza for about seventeen years. I have been her children’s teacher, her colleague, and now her supervisor for about eleven years, so to say the least, I know her. I can describe Mrs. Maza in one word—selfless. I worry about her sometimes because she is always taking care of everyone else which leave little room for herself. Everyone she comes in contact with is touched in a positive way and made to feel special. We see a lot of things she does, but I can only image what God sees; I’m sure he would say this is my servant whom I am well pleased. I feel guilty because I have taken her for granted because she is so dependable. You never know the treasure you have until it’s gone. Without her at our school or in our lives there would be a huge void. The energy and time she has to be in so many places helping so many people and touching so many lives could only come from God. She is full of love because to love is to give, and daily she pours herself out to everyone. Somehow, her cups stays full. If anyone is deserving of such an award, it is this lady who is an angel to so many. The servitude and the selfless acts Mrs. Maza performs daily deserves double honor!

Lara Jopling Posted over a year ago

Honored to work with her daily. She is a great leader and a huge part of the continued success we have at our school. She is involved in everything from teaching, tutoring, clubs, volunteering, ... you name it. Big heart!!!!

Michelle Koppie Posted over a year ago

Dvawn has a genuine calling, which she has answered graciously. She loves her kids and goes over and above to do special things with them to give them opportunities they otherwise would not have. She also has a special knack for utilizing the limited resources available to the fullest extent possible.

Linda Nelson Posted over a year ago

Dvawn is a wonderful teacher loves her students & her school she is hard working & caring she does so many wonderful projects with her students she is so deserving !

James Perryman Posted over a year ago

Ms. Dvawn is a great teacher. I appreciate all the time she puts in to make sure the job gets done. Keep up the good work.

Ethan Chandler Posted over a year ago

A great person to be around. Always is friendly and welcoming. Mrs. D deserves this award!

Amy Ouchley Posted over a year ago

The first time I met Dvawn Maza I was impressed with her enthusiasm for learning, teaching, and sharing. She is a special education teacher and involved in a host of other school activities. She is a successful grant writer and has helped provide a school garden and playground equipment for her school. She leads the 4H program for 4th and 5th graders and provides great opportunities and fieldtrips for these underprivileged kids.. I have visited her classroom and witnessed her in action. She inspires, motivates, and encourages the students. Her bulletin boards are full of good information. Her environment is a great place for learning. Dvawn Maza is a grassroots LifeChanger and I wholeheartedly support her nomination.

Clayton Maza Posted over a year ago

My wife thinks of others before herself.does more than anyone I know. mangages to hold it all together and still finds the time to be a wonderful caring wife!

Curt Meachum Posted over a year ago

Awesome lady. I am the Chief of Fire Prevention in our parish and have had the pleasure to work with Dvawn on many occasions. She tirelessly strives to enhanse each child’s learning experience and to ensure they have every possible opportunity to succeed. She is a true life changer in our community.

Damon K Nailer Posted over a year ago

Dvawn Mesa is an awesome teacher and person. It was a pleasure to serve with her on the staff at Shady Grove Elementary. She was truly a caring coworker and one who sincerely loved her students.

Linda Nelson Posted over a year ago

Dvawn Mesa is a wonderful teacher she loves her students and her school she is so deserving for all she does for both !

Kim Wassan Posted over a year ago

I have the pleasure of working with this wonderful woman! Mrs. Maza is not only an amazing teacher, but she cares just as much, for her co-workers! My husband was recently in a duck hunting accident that left him in ICU for several days, followed by a week long hospital stay. Mrs. Maza was the first coworker, to reach out to me and offer her help. Throughout my husband’s hospital stay, she not only checked on us daily, but also handled a few things at school for me. Knowing she was willing to step in and help, allowed me to focus all my attention, on my husband. I have been blessed to work with her, but even more so, I’m so very thankful for her friendship! She is a treasure.

Karen Calvert Posted over a year ago

Dvawn is such an amazing lady! She goes out of her way to help people in the community! Not to mention her kids at school to make sure they learn and grow to be successful adults! She is a wonderful mom, wife and daughter! I truly hope she is receives this award!

Jessica Shelton Posted over a year ago

Not surprised at all to see Dvawn nominated for this. I hope she wins! She's an awesome person and I love her and her family.

Mack Calvert Posted over a year ago

Dvawn is my sister and I know for a fact that everything posted is 100% truth plus a whole lot more. If anyone is deserving of the life changer of the year award, it is her

Mary Robinson Posted over a year ago

Dvawn is a true life changer! I have never seen a more dedicated teacher! She is so energetic and resourceful because she loves the children. You can count yourself fortunate if your paths happen to cross.

Charley Calvert Posted over a year ago

She has been a hard worker all her life and she love all her students and her job as a teacher

Cathy Agan Posted over a year ago

Dvawn Maza goes above and beyond in everything she does for her students. She has been instrumental in the Healthy Communities project at her school. She is a wonderful partner to collaborate with on amy project.