“Stop praying for a lighter load, and start praying for a stronger back.” This is the mantra of Dr. Salome Thomas-EL, aka Principal EL, an award-winning teacher, principal and internationally recognized educator. Principal EL believes that resilient teachers and leaders take risks, make courageous decisions and challenge the status quo. They understand that teaching is not easy. It’s hard work, but it’s good work. As passionate educators, we are able to make a difference in the lives of our students and ensure they are all exposed to an engaging curriculum and effective teaching.
In his thought-provoking presentations, Principal EL shares how we can develop positive relationships and foster a supportive school culture so teachers and leaders can focus on the protective processes that impact and build resilience in all of our students. Principal EL brings a powerful combination of passion, caring and leadership to craft a refreshing, common-sense roadmap for parents, teachers and administrators to help kids achieve their dreams no matter the odds.
Principal EL has been a teacher and principal since 1987. He received national acclaim as a teacher and chess coach, where his students have gone on to win world recognition as Eight-Time National Chess Champions.
Principal EL is currently a K-8 school leader in Wilmington, Delaware and speaks to groups around the world. He was a regular contributor on the “The Dr. Oz Show” and is the author of the best-selling books, "I Choose to Stay" (movie rights optioned by Disney Films), "The Immortality of Influence", which stresses the importance of leadership, mentoring, parenting and service to others. He is the co-author of the newly released, "Passionate Leadership, Building a Winning Team, and Retention for Change".
Principal EL has addressed over 100,000 teachers, administrators, school staff, board members, parents, students and community members in the United States, Canada, Nigeria, Trinidad, England, Jamaica and The Virgin Islands. He frequently appears on C-SPAN, CNN and NPR Radio. He has studied at Cambridge University in England, Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, and holds a doctorate in Education from Wilmington University in Delaware. He has received the Marcus A. Foster Award as the outstanding School District Administrator in Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania’s distinguished Martin Luther King Award. Educational Leadership and Reader’s Digest Magazines recognized Principal EL as an “Inspiring American Icon.” Principal EL has also appeared on Good Morning America and “The Oprah Radio Network”.