LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

« Return to Nominee List

Arlinda Davis

Position: First Grade Teacher
School: Avondale Elementary School
School District: Birmingham City Schools
City, State: Birmingham, AL

Support Arlinda Leave a comment

Music that Describes Arlinda

Arlinda Davis was nominated by Glenita Hawkins, who is both her former student and the parent of a student.

Ms. Davis has taught for 24 years at Avondale Elementary, and her teaching is phenomenal! She is the current Teacher of the Year for her district, and she has been a part of countless committees and groups, helping further the knowledge of everyone around her and herself. She was won numerous awards, including Shell Oil Company International Teacher in 2001 and Teacher Take Wings Award in 2004.

Ms. Davis loves publicly advocating and speaking to people using the philosophy adopted from Plato and Lowell Milken; that children are not only our greatest natural resource, but a national resource. Ms. Davis believes that she can be a promoter for all students, and she ensures they are seen, heard, and given the opportunity to become their best selves. She looks beyond a student’s current circumstance and looks towards their potential future. Ms. Davis believes that all children are born with a special Arête, or "excellence and fulfillment of a special purpose”.

When Ms. Davis was younger, she was shy and falling beneath the educational system. Today, she has become a teacher to be an advocate and champion for children. Her childhood drives her celebration of student self-worth by relaying their importance and purpose. Her childhood experience catapulted her 24 years of teaching to inspire each student to find their Arête and work towards their purpose. This is evident in the way she celebrates each student's extra gifts, makes sure they are confident in everything they do, and differentiates her lessons. Ms. Davis teaches with a drive to recognize the excellence in each child, and she teaches them to recognize it in themselves. 

As a spokesperson and representative for teachers and students, her message to teachers is to inspire. She states that they are All Stars! They are all champions who touch, inspire, and create life within life each day. She wants them to be a cheerleader for children to inherit and improve society. Finally, she reminds her colleagues that all learners can attain higher levels of achievement because they are their inspiration. She would help spread the philosophy of Michael and Lowell Milken; that teachers who lead by example, and deliver a true passion for knowledge will extend far beyond the classroom walls. Her message to students would be to always recognize the excellence in yourself. To the general public, her message would be that our children are our greatest resource.

"As a teacher she is our greatest way to develop that resource. She is ready, willing and able to help be a champion for all," said Hawkins.

Comments (41)

Pren Woods Posted over a year ago

I have enjoyed getting to know Arlinda via the Lifechanger Facebook Page. I have been so inspired by her accomplishments that it led me to develop a virtual friendship with her. Her work has inspired me to learn more about the impact of trauma in the classroom. There is so much that our students deal with and it is easy to forget, to move on with the curriculum, or other pressing needs. So, thank you, Arlinda for your work on behalf of children--a work which has now changed me.

Maria Reese Posted over a year ago

I am so proud of the work and foundation that N's. Davis has done for the students, the, school and the district and now the world. Ms. Davis has been impacting student's with Social Emotional problems for years. This year she helped launch a program for SEL called the Trauma Informed classroom. She was just selected to travel to Toronto Canada to speak to the entire world.. THE ENTIRE WORLD about the how she has helped the students who experience trauma adjust to life in the classroom. To life period. I am the schools counselor and I have witnessed her impact on student's lives and the wonderful change these kids go through. They are currently writing an article on her to be published in Europe, Canada and the USA about her life, the Trauma she experienced as a child/teen and how she used it to help change children's lives. Impacting the world and changing people's minds sets...changes children's lives.

Yvette Jefferson Posted over a year ago

My name is Yvette Jefferson and I have known Miss Davis for over twenty-four years she was my first grade teacher. Now I am 31 and my kids just started at Avondale Elementary. To my very surprised Miss Davis was the first one to greet me. I was overjoyed because my daughter would get a chance to experience this beautiful teacher. She has kept up with me since I was 6 years old. If you want to know about a life changer ask a six-year-old child of a drug user with four siblings who had to take care of themselves. I never will forget one day I came to school my hair hadn't been combed in weeks. I was hungry becsuse she had left us alone four days. My mother was high on crack cocaine. My new stepfather did not know how to handle the situation. Miss Davis met me at the door she had bows and pretty clothes and she made me feel like a princess for days. She even took care of us and they when they could not find my my mother. She took care of me and my four siblings. There are not many words to explain how she changed my life just by caring for me as a little girl. My mom did not even know she was in the world. My mom did not know we were in the world. If she did not change my my life I could have followed that same generational curse. But I excelled in school she helped my mom get rehabilitation help and my mom has been clean for over 20 years. My mom even got my niece who was struggling over 70 miles away and brought her to Ms. Davis. Thats how awesome she is. She is a LIFECHANGER

Genita Hawkins Posted over a year ago

I nominated this beautiful and caring teacher because of her heart. I thought about this nomination a few weeks ago when for the 3rd time she was a life saver and a life changer. She had a student in her class where I was volunteering. She started noticing behaviors that made her believe it was urgent to get her to a doctor. Well her instincts were right and if she hadn't called the nurse and mom the student would have died from a diabetic comma. The student is now in 3rd grade and both last year and this year she saw her and immediately knew her levels were deathly low and got her help. Finally 3 weeks ago she was working car line and a kindergarten student got bumped into the street. Ms. Davis ran to push away from a moving car and fell breaking her foot, wrist and fractured her forearm. It's things like this that remind me that she naturally changes and saves lives.

Crystal Salter Posted over a year ago

I have had the pleasure of knowing Ms Davis for 5 years now. She cares deeply for the children. She gives herself completely. She puts everyone else's needs above her own. She is hard working and gives up her free time to make sure the children have everything they need to be successful (I have seen her several times after school staying late for this reason.) She is compassionate to every child if it's her student or not. She goes the extra mile. She is one of the best people not just teacher I know!

Vanessa Griggs Posted over a year ago

The name Arlinda means golden birth. Yes, she is a teacher who cares about her students as well as the parents and school faculty. She cares about family and people, period. Teachers make more of an impact on children, who will grow up to be adults, than can be expressed with words. This teacher has shown that she knows the power of words and encouragement and letting people know they are on this earth with a purpose for a purpose. Anyone who is blessed to have a teacher who knows how to lift them up when life tries to beat you down and cares about more than just making a paycheck but making a difference, is blessed indeed. The golden birth of Arlinda Davis proves that gold can come in many forms but the value is priceless. I'm thankful for a teacher who doesn't scar children with the negatives that can be done, but makes a child eager to learn and eager to soar in life.

Missy Jones Posted over a year ago

Arlinda Davis is an amazing teacher, mentor, and friend. She took me under her wing during my first few years of teaching. I knew that I could always count on her for words of wisdom!

Nikki Parker Posted over a year ago

She’s the best teacher ever my son is 20 yrs old and she still keeps up with him

Gail H. Smith Posted over a year ago

I knew Ms. Arlinda Davis first as a teacher of one of my children. My daughter loved Ms. Davis and thrived under her loving guidance. All children in Ms. Davis's class and any with whom she comes in contact feel loved and appreciated by Ms. Davis. I also had the privilege of working with Ms. Davis through our after school care program and she was always very dedicated and looking out for the needs of all children. She has an enormous capacity for love and care. Children and adults feel accepted and valued with Ms. Davis. Ms. Davis also has worked hard to increase her own educational skills and eagerly shares her knowledge with others. She is a shining example of someone who uses her God given teaching gifts to help others and exemplifies genuine love and support to all who know her.

Dewey Pittman Jr Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Davis has proven to be a dedicated, dependable and competent teacher. I have had an opportunity to visit her class room and witness how her students love her and respond to her. Mrs. Davis has earned the respect and love of her peers as well. She has a passion for teaching and helping not only her students but their parents also as much as possible. Mrs. Davis' dedication is inspiring and motivating to those around.

Lisa Lavender Posted over a year ago

Ms. Davis is a true leader in education. Her strong passion for education resonates through her interactions with students and co-workers, as well as, her commitment to professional growth. She sees the potential in all students and builds their confidence, so their eyes are open to limitless possibilities. The continuous support she gives to her co-workers shows her selfless and genuine love for people and her ability to shape the lives of those who are blessed to cross her path.

Jacqueline Bell Posted over a year ago

Ms. Arlinda Davis and her work can be summed up.... GENUINE, FROM THE HEART AND SINCERE....Which makes all the difference as it's not only what you do, but how passionate one is in the work they do!! Those qualities alone makes her work more effective... priceless as it spills and overflows into those she comes in contact with!!! I'm Blessed to have been introduced to such a Graceful, Loving and Nurturing Presence!!!

Monica Hamby Kimbrough Posted over a year ago

Ms. Arlinda Davis! I grew up with her and she used to keep me and my sister all the time. We would often times go with her from church on Sunday evenings and have the best time with her and her family. She was great role model to us as young girls and I will never forget what she has done for us throughout our lives. She is a GREAT person and one who is loved by her family, community and students. This award could not have been given to a more deserving person. My family and I are so proud of you and wish you the very BEST. Love and blessings to you and your family!

Alexis Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Davis is a very kind and caring person. She is always giving back. She deserves every recognition for being such an outstanding person!!!

Cumberlan Posted over a year ago

Arlinda takes great pride in her work as a teacher. She works tirelessly and spends countless hours equipping her students with knowledge!

Danette Brown Posted over a year ago

Arlinda Davis is an excellent teacher and truly deserving of an award for her commitment to the teaching profession!

Brittany Watson Posted over a year ago

Arlinda is an amazing woman. She is so kind and loves kids. She is such an inspiration and she deserves to be recognized for all her hard work teaching our youth. She is they type teacher who truly touches the lives and hearts of her students. She truly makes a difference in the lives of her children. As a parent that’s so important we want our children to look up to people who encourage them to be better human beings & I for one can not think of a better role model for my daughter then Mrs. Arlinda Davis.

Shandria Evans Posted over a year ago

Atlinda is a great teacher, friend, and role model! She would give you the shirt off of her back! I would nominate her for any award!

Courtney Nelson Posted over a year ago

Arlinda Davis is a true educator. She puts everything into her children and classroom. As her former principal I am not surprised she is nominated for such an honor. She welcomes her parents into the classroom to support their children’s learning. She will do whatever it takes for her students to feel successful and fulfilled in the classroom!

Hope English Posted over a year ago

Ms. Davis is dedicated to teaching and honing her craft. When other teachers had mischievous students, she would bring them in her room and teach them as if they were her own students. After going in Ms. Davis’s class, the students didn’t want to return to their own class. Ms. Davis cared for, taught, and loved all students. She is a valuable teacher and an important part of Avondale Elementary.

Eugenia Miller Posted over a year ago

A remarkable leader! A remarkable teacher! A remarkable friend! These words are just a small taste of greatness that Ms. Davis brings to the table. Her pure heart and soul for teaching has truly set her apart from the rest. Her passion for leading and helping others is seen among the lives of her students. She has a fan base of former students that always praise her teaching methods that helped change their lives . I am also grateful for her gifts and talents that helped mold me into the teacher that I am today. A true woman of greatness, kindness, and plenty of wisdom to share- Yes, that’s Ms. Arlinda Yvette Davis.

Jamie Harris Posted over a year ago

Ms. Davis is an amazing, ambitious teacher with a beautiful capacity for connecting with each student. She is passionate about her craft and loves coming up with innovative ideas to educate our children.

Heather Spencer Holmes Posted over a year ago

It’s hard to put into words the impact that Miss Davis (as we call her) has had on our son, family and community. When I think of her, I picture a lake where someone has just thrown a stone and I am left mesmerized as the beautiful ripples expand in unison, and the sunlight dances excitedly in all directions. This seems like the perfect metaphor of her teaching style. She merely throws out an idea, while the students enthusiastically reflect their own interpretations,with questions and thoughts. She is able to get them excited about learning, without fear of failure or ridicule while maintaining a high level of discipline within the classroom. The students feel safe and respect her authority, for they do not want to disappoint the one who challenges them with delightful facts. She takes the time, to know the child and the family. She knew my son before he was ever in her classroom. I have encouraged other parents who were frustrated with the school to hold out and wait for Miss Davis... and they have... and did not regret their choice. She continues to learn, grow, and strive to be a better teacher, when she is the BEST educator we have ever had. It’s been four years since my child was in her classroom and we often talk about how great she was and send her notes to let her know how much we appreciate and miss her. I know this doesn’t come off as “life changing” because I cannot come up with “the one single” event. Those happen everyday in her midst! Just knowing her, and her enthusiasm for teaching is life changing. Sincerely, Guthrie’s Mom Heather Spencer Holmes

DeShunda Love Posted over a year ago

Arlinda Davis is definitely one of kind. I wasn't personally taught by her in school, but she is like a second mom to me. Arlinda will literally give you the shirt off her back one of the most selfless people I know. Ms. Davis enjoys teaching and her students adore her so much. Little does she know she had a great impact on me and how I raise my kids today and I really thank her for that. Love you so much Arlinda?

Joshua Petty Posted over a year ago

Ms. Davis was my 1st grade teacher for 2 years. I had to be held back to help me with my reading. I am glad my mom listened to Ms. Davis. She is a great teacher. She inspired me to do great. Ms. Davis is the best teacher.

Elizabeth Austin Posted over a year ago

Arlinda Davis was a great teacher and inspiration to my son. He still looks up to her til this day. Arlinda recommended that I hold him back for the next year. And it really helped him. She had him in her classroom for 2 years. Josh still tells people about his favorite teacher. He is now 21.

Laquita Thomas Posted over a year ago

Ms. Davis has been a wonderful gift to both of my boys. She was able to pull out their creativity and challenge them academically. She sees the potential and possibilities in all of her students and pushes them to exceed all expectations. Education talks of how teachers are to adapt to the learner's needs. Ms. Davis does exactly that without hesitation and never sees what students lack, but how specifical each one is.

Deja Shavon Hill Posted over a year ago

I had the very fortunate pleasure of working alongside this intelligent , beautiful , educated black woman last school year. I didn’t know during my time at Avondale that I would lose my mother , Mrs Davis is the one who told me to keep calling the police until I got a answer , then hours later my mom was found dead. This lady helped me raise money to have my momma the funeral she deserved. A few days after my moms funeral , I was back at Avondale having a miscarriage didn’t know it , again she was there to love &nd hug on me. I have watched this lady teach children who couldn’t read , read. Children who came to school with holes in they shoes , she got them shoes. Nobody deserves this more than her. I thank you for everything you taught me , all the love you showed me , all the times you treated me to lunch , EVERYTHING. I love you , forever. Congratulations ??

Charisse White Posted over a year ago

Arlinda Davis doesn’t just make an impact inside the classroom, she has always had the gift of blessing anyone’s life she encounters. She is one talented individual who can tap into the needs of a person while giving them complete confidence in themselves to do whatever they set out to do. I’ve seen Arlinda take in complete strangers as her own and teach lessons deeper than a text book. She has dedicated her time to an organization by being the hostess of their events called The Greatest Love of All and Kid’s Speak Out. She is always donating something to a cause. Her heart is extremely big and she is truly heaven sent. Life Changer of the Year has Arlinda Davis’ name written all over it! Changing lives of many is just a small chapter in her life of what she has done. #LCOY

Montez Caldwell Posted over a year ago

I personally was never taught by Mrs Davis I became acquainted with Mrs. Davis through one of her former students and in the short time I've known her she has been nothing less than an angel she is a caring loving and genuine person and from what I've heard from her students she is the epitome of a Good teacher an asset to her profession I wished we had more teachers of her calibre God bless you mama D. May you prosper always

Anastasia Bagwell Posted over a year ago

I worked with Ms. Davis for two years. As a first year teacher, I was nervous and unsure of what to expect. Ms. Davis quickly welcomed me to the school, helped me with ideas on setting up my new classroom, and offered advice on how to effectively manage a classroom from day one. Throughout the next two years, she became a friend. When I needed her she was always a listening ear and someone I could confide in. One day I was completely overwhelmed and she read that on my face. She stopped me to reassure me that teaching is my calling and that she was proud of my growth as a teacher. Without even saying anything to her she knew what I needed to hear that day. Her words meant the world to me that day and helped me to continue being the teacher my students needed.

Kimberly Slater Posted over a year ago

I just love Ms.Arlinda Davis. She strives to make her students successful in learning. She is very compassionate and she go above and beyond to help others. She is a life changer and an amazing first grade teacher.

Krystal Posted over a year ago

Arlinda is the most support teacher(and friend) a student or colleagues could have. She exudes kindness. Her students excel in learning, and exhibit a love for learning that only she can foster.

Lindsay Posted over a year ago

Ms. Davis loves all children, and cares for them to the degree that they feel loved and safe in her classroom. She constantly inspires her students and her coworkers to achieve all they are capable of and dream of, with her selfless dedication and help. Ms. Davis is a life changer, game changer, and deserves teacher of the year. As a first year teacher, I was so confused about what to do, some of the curriculum, and classroom management. Ms. Davis sat down with me, showed me what she found effective and her best practices. She spent hours helping me. I will forever be thankful— she is the epitome of an AMAZING teacher!

Terence Davis Posted over a year ago

Ms. Davis has impacted countless students and parents over the years. She is a dedicated educator and certainly deserving of life changer recognition.

Lois Jemmott-Talley Posted over a year ago

Ms. Arlinda Davis inspired me to go back to school to get my teaching certification. I've worked with her for 7 years as an E.S.L. paraprofessional. Ms. Davis embraces our EL community and follow the WIDA guidelines in all of her daily lessons. Student are encouraged and reasurred they are welcomed from the first day they enter her room. Their academic and personal growth is immediately evident because she takes her time and provides one on one instruction. She values the E.S.L teacher's input and suggestions according to the accommodations from the results of the students scores on Access test. Our E.S.L. staff is always evaluating which teacher is better prepared to receptively teach our students with clarity, drive, and compassion; Ms. Davis exemplifies these qualities. She is our preferred choice when placing our first grade newcommers.

Wanda harvill Posted over a year ago

My son had the pleasure of being in her class this school year and my son has autism and adhd but she has changed him for the better she got him so he does not have to where head phones and has become so independent it is like he someone different I wish I could take her with us to second grade .She has been a true blessing to our family we love her so much we have adopted her.

Jennifer Dickson Posted over a year ago

Arlinda is always willing to help anyone in need! She is always supportive and handles every situation as professional as possible. I love being able to work with Arlinda!

Tifica Willis Wali Posted over a year ago

Arlinda has been everything to me! She has been my shoulder when I have had to shed a tear, she has been my ear to listen whenever I needed her to listen! It does not matter what day or time she will always make her self available for us! When I say us she has been there for my son and my husband! Arlinda is a phenomenal woman the true definition of and she is my Angel! I can go on and on about this women but there is not enough time in a day! We love you Arlinda and you deserve whatever God has in store for you!

Ms.Morris Posted over a year ago

Life isn't about the destination it's about the journey and the people you meet. This woman has not only impacted me but has impacted my son. She is an amazing teacher always inspiring children and influencing adults. I love you Ms Davis

Montrice Lucas Posted over a year ago

Ms. Davis is truly deserving of this nomination, as well as becoming the winner. She is truly a life changer. She is one of those teachers that does not run away from challenging behavior. She is always supportive of her colleagues that may be having a tough time. She is an encourager. The students and Parents love her because she is a nurturer and does not play games when it comes to education and children operating at their best. She is always willing to lend a helping hand, and if you need anything as far as resources she usually has it and is willing to share. I appreciate her for her smile and for always being a team player. #LCOY