By Greg Gelpi
Malik Glenn wasn't at his preschool graduation Monday night, but the 5-year-old was on many minds.
Glenn died Saturday when fire ravaged the John Arnold Circle home he was asleep in.
I was "just in shock. (It feels) like I lost one of my own children," said Wendy Brown, one of Glenn's teachers at Creative World Learning Center in Morrow. "We're going to try to make the graduation as happy as we can."
Members of Glenn's family accepted the graduation certificate at the ceremony in place of the child, who many said was always smiling.
Brown recalled Glenn's "extreme creativity," adding that he wanted to be Superman when he got older. A fan of the Power Rangers, he would imitate his favorite super heroes in class and build things out of toy blocks that he saw from their television shows and movies.
"I remember when he first came into our classroom," she said. "He was a shy little boy and slowly he came out of his shell."
Glenn loved to give hugs and kisses and always spoke about his parents, Brown said.
His mother, Jeanne Davis, reportedly tried several times to run in and save him from the fire, but was held back by neighbors, officials with the Clayton County Fire Department said.
The fire department is still investigating the cause of the fire, Clayton County Fire Department Chief Jeff Hood said. A report on the fire could be released as early as this morning.
Davis is staying with members of her church Christ Cares Ministries of Forest Park.
"We've known Malik for years," Angela Crawford, a secretary at the church said. "His smile. No matter what he smiled a lot. He would always have something to say. He didn't want anyone to be sad or upset."
Crawford said that Glenn was baptized on Easter and has been excited about religion ever since.
"Now that we look back it's kind of uncanny," she said.
Since the family lost everything in the home, Crawford said a fund for monetary donations has been established in Glenn's name at all area branches of Wachovia Bank.
The church is also accepting material donations and can be reached by calling pastor Brenda Osby at (770) 471-7726.
Glenn had one brother, Curtis Davis, a student at the State University of West Georgia.