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MESPA Institute is still on despite the weather! Travel safely and we will see you there! Join us for the professional development event of the year! On February 6-8, 2019, you will be joined by 450+ of your colleagues for an incredible experience. With presentations from EIGHT incredible thought leaders, more than 25 sessions rooted in mental health, innovation, education equity, and leadership development, MESPA Speaks performances by your own colleagues, a Makerspace and Therapy Dog Showcase, an Unconference in which you guide your own learning, and 80+ education-based exhibits, how could you go wrong?

Share in the excitement! Use the conference hashtag #mespamn and follow @mespaprincipals on Twitter.

Evaluate Institute 2019: The evaluation is now live: Click here to complete the MESPA 2019 General Evaluation for your CEUs (17).
Evaluate Institute 2019 Breakout Sessions: Click here to complete a session evaluation for each breakout you attend. Your feedback helps us plan future sessions!
avatar for Salome Thomas-El

Salome Thomas-El

“Every child needs someone to be crazy about them.” These are the words of Salome Thomas-EL, award-winning teacher and principal, and nationally recognized educator. They shape his life-long commitment to answering the question, “How do we ensure that every child achieves their greatest potential?” This question lies at the heart of the national dialogue on education policy, the day in and day out work of school personnel, and the hopes of every parent. Central to this challenge is how we succeed with children who are facing the most serious barriers to success: poverty, violence, neglect, and low expectations.

For over 30 years, Principal EL has taken on this challenge with the absolute belief that every child can and will learn as long as adults in their world care enough to not give up. Starting as a teacher and chess coach at Vaux Middle School and through his years as principal at several traditional public and charter schools, Thomas-EL has transformed the attitudes and strategies of school staff, parents, and members of the community to help hundreds of troubled children not only graduate from high school but go on to earn higher degrees from major colleges and universities. He brings to the process a powerful combination of passion, caring, and leadership to craft a refreshing, common-sense roadmap to help kids achieve their dreams, no matter the odds.

Salome Thomas-EL lives in Delaware County with his wife and two daughters. He has been a teacher and principal in Philadelphia, PA and Wilmington, DE since 1987. Salome is currently the Head of School at Thomas Edison Charter School in Wilmington. Principal EL received national acclaim as a teacher and chess coach at Vaux Middle School, where his students have gone on to win world recognition as Eight-Time National Chess Champions. Principal EL was a regular contributor on the first season of “The Dr. Oz Show” and the author of the best-selling books, I Choose to Stay, about his Vaux Middle School experience, and The Immortality of Influence (Foreword by Will Smith), which stresses the importance of leadership, mentoring, parenting and service to others. The Walt Disney Company optioned the movie rights to I Choose to Stay. Thomas-EL speaks to groups around the world and frequently appears on C-SPAN, CNN, and NPR Radio. He has studied in Cambridge and London, England and is currently a doctoral candidate.  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 Magazine recognized Principal EL as an “Inspiring American Icon”. Principal EL has also appeared on “The Oprah Radio Network”.