Wednesday, May 14, 2008
EDUCATOR SPOTLIGHT: SALOME THOMAS-EL
I was sitting in my classroom this morning, observing my students at work when I turned on the radio to my favorite program "The Steve Harvey Morning Show". Every Wednesday Steve has a segment called the "Influential African American" where he has various people in the African American community(Famous and not famous) who have made a positive impact in the community.
Well today Steve had on the show a brother by the name of Salome Thomas-El. Thomas-El is a principal at a local school in Philadelphia who continues to teach in the inner city where his school resides. He gave up a lucrative media job to become a teacher and assist those students who desperately need teachers, mentors and male role models in their lives.
Thomas-El introduced the game of chess to his students and eventually they grew to become such good players that he entered them into local chess competitions where they won. They continued winning all the way to the national chess championships where they again emerged victorious.
I did not know that this exceptional gentleman wrote a book titled "I Choose to Stay" which was published 2004. In it chronicles the aforementioned triumphs in his teaching sojourn and the struggles and tragedies that he has faced as well. I came away very impressed with Mr. Salome Thomas-El and find myself inspired by what he was done and continues to do to help our children in need. I intend to go and find his book this week and read it and I urge all of you to read it as well.
In fact I am inducting Salome Thomas-El into my newly created category: "People Who Are Making a Difference". I sincerely offer my praise and salutations to Mr. Thomas-El.