LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Arlinda Davis

Position: Retiring First Grade Teacher
School: Avondale Fine Arts School
School District: Birmingham City Schools
City, State: Birmingham, AL

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Music that Describes Arlinda

Arlinda Davis was nominated by her friend and fellow LifeChanger, Pren Woods.

"What an unexpected gift to know (virtually) Ms. Davis through this LifeChanger nomination process," said Woods. "I was drawn to her posts in the the LifeChanger nominee Facebook group. Every post was so rich with passion and love for teaching all kids and impacting her community. I would learn later, through such posts, that she was also impacting the world. I began to look for her all the time when I went to the Facebook group. She became my "Where is Waldo" educational icon as I looked (and was ever so hopeful) daily for her next victory in the classroom. I use the word 'victory' because that's just what Ms. Davis believes. She's victorious in the classroom.  Every day she loves on a child is a victory for her and that child. She really puts socio-emotional wellness above all else. I admire that so much."

"Now, how did I get to know all of this?  Well, I made a decision to send her a friend request and ask her for her phone number. She obliged. I had to learn from her," said Woods. "I had to learn about her work in Birmingham and on a national stage about social emotional learning. I wanted to know about the magic in her first grade classroom, a room that she has been in for 25 years at the same school. Just imagine her legacy and all the wonderful stories."

"So, I write this as a good friend (though it's been through technology)," said Woods. "I have 'mad' admiration for her.  You won't get her to say these things about herself because she has so much grace and humility. You have to sit back and watch her and then you know, you are dealing with the real LifeChanger here. I am not a five year old, but I am grateful for her doting, attentive love, and her mentoring me since last fall.  Her work on the FB nominee page, as well as on her own page, shows that she is beloved in her community and she will not slow down.  She will always be the voice for those who have not yet learned to use theirs.  She will be a social justice warrior. Arlinda is my "Waldo" and and an educational diplomat for our esteemed profession and the world."

Comments (37)

Arlinda Davis Posted over a year ago

I want to take the time to say thank you to all the people who commented on this page and my other nominee page for Lifechanger. Most of all I want to say thank you to Pren Woods for this eloquent and powerful nomination. You sir are amazing!!!

Eugenia Miller Posted over a year ago

I can't believe Ms. Davis is leaving us but I am so proud to have been part of her legacy. She is truly 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. Have a wonderful Retirement although I know you will never retire from children.

Loretta Griffith Posted over a year ago

I have known Arlinda all her life, she is a wonderful person, in fact she was raised to be great by great parents! I’m not surprised that she is a teacher who cares so much for her students because that’s just who she is! Arlinda I know you will miss being in the classroom but I’m praying for you to enjoy your retirement and pamper yourself sometimes because you deserve it dear. Much love to you!??

Stephen Lee Posted over a year ago

Congratulations cousin! Wow! You're younger than me and you've been doing ONE THING for TWENTY FIVE YEARS! I know you were a good teacher because you came from good stock. You may be retired, but your teaching will go on (it's in your blood). Enjoy your "formal" retirement. I love you much

TAMRON RUE MOM Posted over a year ago


Lilla Norris Posted over a year ago

Ms. Davis is definitely a life changer. I am so grateful I had the opportunity work with her and learn from her, especially in my early days of teaching. She made our school a better place, and I know she will be so missed!

Amber Pope Posted over a year ago

Ms. Davis is a treasure and a gift to everyone she met. She truly loved and cared for her students as people first, students second. She continued to hone her craft throughout her career, keeping what worked and trading strategies in when she found something that worked better. She really understood the WHY behind what she was doing and was able to show parents how to help their children at home. Even though she never taught my children, I’m grateful that our time at Avondale overlapped with hers. I wish her the best in retirement! She deserves it!

Arlinda Davis Posted over a year ago

I truly love my students, parents and work family. God has truly blessed me to increase the love in my life, while I increase the knowledge in each child. I've cried so many tears the last few weeks thinking about each child. Thinking about their future and praying I did enough to allow them to inherit society. So many have written on my other Lifechanger page from earlier this year. Thank you for taking the time to wish ne well. I love you and you all have my number if you need anything. Thank you so much.

Wanda harvill Posted over a year ago

Omg I can't believe you are retiring because you help change my son's life with your love and patience and for that you will always be a big part of our lives my son loves you and will miss you as well me too.Thank you for being a great woman and a amazing teacher.???

Elizabeth Austin Posted over a year ago

Ms. Davis was my son's teacher for 2 years. She was one of the best. She let me volunteer in her classroom even after my son had move on to the next grade. Shenis not only a great teacher. She is a great friend and sister. I love Arlinda Davis and love the love she has for all her babies. She didn't have student's, she had babies.

Carrie Patterson Posted over a year ago

Arlinda received a teacher grant from WE Schools for the amazing work she was doing with her students, school and community. She organized with support of her administration a trauma informed classroom training for her entire district. She is an inspiration and cares deeply about her students and their wellbeing.

Shannon Bennett Posted over a year ago

I have had the pleasure of knowing this lady and her family over 16 years !! She is the most precious person I have ever met. My daughter and her daughter grew up doing pageants for years. She has had a huge impact on daughter and she wasn’t even a student of hers, but learned from her .. I just know this Godly woman stands for what’s right, a great leader, Loves people of all kinds, and most of all puts God first. We luv her and her family. There isn’t enough words out there to describe her!! One thing for sure she is “priceless”!! I am so proud to call Ms Arlinda my friend and sister in Christ !! ....

Lois Jemmott-Talley Posted over a year ago

Hi sweet lady. You will be greatly miss. Our ELL student will miss having a caring and patience teacher that loves them for who they are. I will miss our chats and uplifting you gave me through the years. May the Lord continue to Blessed you and increase you in every area of your life. Continue loving kids and teaching them where ever God leads you next. It was an honor working along side you; you thought me a lot in the professional and spiritual area. Stat safe and beautiful as always. ?

Paula Gotlibowski Posted over a year ago

I don't know you Arlinda. However, Charisse continues to mention you, your endeavors and achievements, on social media. Thank you for making the world a better place, as seen through the eyes of our children. I also pray that your retirement finds you forever feeling accomplished, proud and knowledgeable of the fact that you are appreciated and admired for having been a contributor to our future.

Summer Brooks Posted over a year ago

Congratulations on your retirement!! You deserve time to relax & spend with your family. I know the school system & all the students you impacted throughout your career are blessed from knowing you!

Sonya Perkins Posted over a year ago

I do not know Arlinda as a teacher but as a friend. We went to school together and she always had a smile and encouraging word for everyone. I’m sure she carried that into her career. If she taught you or your children I’m sure you know you were blessed.

Arrica Calhoun Posted over a year ago

Congratulations to a dynamic woman! I admire Ms. Arlinda for her daily contributions to her classroom, her family, her community and her JUSTICE family. May God continue to be with you in each of your new endeavors.

Missy Jones Posted over a year ago

Arlinda, you are an amazing person. I am so lucky to have met you. You were such a dedicated teacher and mentor. Congratulations on your retirement!

Alike Johnson Posted over a year ago

I am so proud of the work you have done! I am so happy for you to start the next chapter of your life. Enjoy every moment with your sweet and caring self. God bless you Arlinda.

Carolyn Smith Posted over a year ago

It is hard to believe that your are retiring. We have shared many special moments together. I hope you take this time to pamper yourself. Your have set an example for many students you have taught. You have shared your heart and soul with many including myself. Good luck in all you do in the future. I will miss your smiling face and hugs.

Hope English Posted over a year ago

Congratulations on the next chapter of your life! I know your students and parents will miss you dearly! You are/were a great teacher and student motivator, encourager, and cheerleader. I wish you all the best in your new ventures! Hats off my friend! Job well done!

Janae Levert Posted over a year ago

Ms Davis taught my daughter at Avondale. She always went above and beyond for her students down to the parents. She was always there when Janiyah needed help even after she left for another school. Even to this day she keeps in contact with her students.

Coach Bailey Posted over a year ago

congratulations on a job well done. I pray your health and living in in the spirit of prosperity!

Dorothea Hawkins Posted over a year ago

Ms Davis has taught me and my children, she is a big part of the reason I became a published author. Her teaching skills are amazing, and will be missed at Avondale. As a parent a value a relationship with my children's teacher, the relationship I have built with Ms Davis is what I am going to miss the most. I am grateful to have been a parent volunteer and her former student. Ms Davis is a one of a kind teacher, that treats you as her family even after your child leaves her class. I'm going to miss volunteering in her class, her sweet warm smile, and her loving personality!!!! Love you much my forever school mommy and dear friend!!!! Congratulations on your retirement... this is only the beginning for you!!!

Eugenia Miller Posted over a year ago

I can't believe Ms. Davis is leaving us but I am so proud to have been part of her legacy. She is truly 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. Have a wonderful Retirement although I know you will never retire from children.

Maria Echols Posted over a year ago

Arlinda has been such a powerful motivator for both students and teachers. She is a champion of quality education and cares deeply for every person who crosses her path. Ms. Davis will truly be missed but I’m thankful to have been blessed to learn awesome teaching strategies from her!

Kathy Jackson Posted over a year ago

I met Ms. Davis last school year when my granddaughter was in kindergarten. She looked out for my granddaughter even though she wasn't in her class. She really care about all students not just the ones in her classroom. Ms. Davis care about her students learning and she is a masterful teacher. She works in many capacities at Avondale Elementary School. Ms. Davis will be truly missed. Ms. Davis always communicate with the parents to let us know what is going on in her classroom, and what is going on with our children. She is the most caring teacher that I have ever met. Thank you Ms. Davis for caring we will truly miss you. Enjoy your retirement!

Charisse Davis Posted over a year ago

Arlinda Davis has dedicated 25 plus years to teaching and educating not only those in her classroom, but anyone she comes into contact with. She can turn anything into a lesson, but I guarantee you the lesson is something you will remember years and years later. She includes dance and singing into teaching making it extremely fun for children. A creative mind she has, there is nothing that will stop her from creating magic for others around her. Take a seed and watch it grow. This is exactly what she has done for all of her students. She has molded them and helped them grow into phenomenal human beings in society today. Her work doesn’t stop when the bell rings, I have personally Seen how hard she works even after the clock. To know Arlinda Davis is to love and have nothing but great respect for the woman she is truly is. She has taken teachers up under her wings and now they are able to fully fly. Even after she retires I can assure you the work won’t stop for her because she has a special gift. I am honored to know such an amazing woman! She deserves this award and so much more. God Bless Arlinda Davis for her hard work and dedication.

Sandi Martin Posted over a year ago

I will miss you terribly. I am so happy to call you my friend. I pray nothing but God's richest blessings for you. Love you much! Avondale will not be the same without you. Keep in touch!

Lydia Walls Graves Posted over a year ago

You are a ray of sunshine! You brighten my days! Love and light to you my most amazing teacher!

David Seale Posted over a year ago

Ms. Davis's greatness as an educator is known throughout the Birmingham City School System, and I have seen it firsthand as both an Instructional Coordinator and as her principal this spring. Every student is special, every need is addressed, every day is treated like a gift, and her students are the beneficiaries of that dedication and love.

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. I believe that her passion to teach, her creativity and drive to make sure every child is successful will lead her to do greater things for education. This isn't the end, it's just the beginning.

Shandria Evans Posted over a year ago

Thank you for your sweet and always helpful advice! Enjoy your retirement!

Amber Wavryk Posted over a year ago

It's hard to believe that I only met Arlinda at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. It truly feels like we've known each other much longer. I met Arlinda through the WE Teachers Program (of which I am the Educational Program Manager for - in Toronto, ON). Arlinda applied to receive a grant from Walgreens, and we chose her as a recipient of the award because of the impacts she has made in Birmingham City Schools, not only in the classroom but also in the community. She is a Champion of our WE Teachers: Trauma-Informed Classroom module, and went so far as to introduce it to her entire school district, and assist with a full district professional learning session! That is when she really caught my eye, and I found out just how inspiring and impactful Arlinda really is. We had to learn more about Arlinda and wanted to give her the platform to share her story, so we flew her to Toronto in January 2020 to participate in an evening of professional learning where she was one of our guest speakers. Her one line that resonated with everyone was 'trauma has no zip code' and she couldn't be more right! We were honored to have Arlinda share her story and her years of experience with us, and could not have chosen a more deserving life-long teacher to support with the WE Teachers Award. Thank you, Arlinda. You are truly an inspiration to me and to the lives of the students and families that you touch.

Dewey Pittman Jr Posted over a year ago

Within the past couple years I've had the opportunity to reconnect and catch up with Arlinda. In that time and now I've been witness to Arlinda's commitment to nothing short of excellence in assisting her students and colleagues in many tasks, sitting and problem solving and encouraging them as individuals and collectively to strive and push for the best of themselves. I have on occasion been privy to seeing and witnessing former students cross paths with Arlinda and being nothing short of elated to see her and briefly share their gratitude for Arlinda's support, leadership, compassion and belief in their abilities to do and be.

Yvette Jefferson Posted over a year ago

I can't believe 25 years ago I was a scared but inquisitive six year old getting ready to meet a person who would forever be an important part of my life. 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!! I am so happy for her. I love you Mama Davis and Congratulations!!

Mariah Reese Posted over a year ago

I am the school's counselor and Ms. Davis and I have become very close working with her in many aspects of the school. We are over the Academic Bowl Team, PBIS, Student Services Support Team, and anything that makes our students success. I am so proud of the work and foundation that Ms. Davis has laid 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. Actually to life. 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. You will be missed and I am proud of how much you changes lives snd love children.