CU Arts & Lecture Series Presents Salome Thomas-El

Salome Thomas-El, Philadelphia Educator, will speak at Cheyney University as part of the Universities Art and Lecture Series this month.


PRLog (Press Release) – Apr 19, 2009 – Born and raised in the inner city of Philadelphia, Salome Thomas-El has been a teacher in the Philadelphia School District since 1987. He 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. Armed with only a chess board and a profound belief in their potential, Thomas-EL’s faith and commitment have motivated hundreds to attend magnet high schools, major colleges and universities.

Salome Thomas-El is a doctoral student and has studied in Cambridge and London, England. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Ursinus College in Pennsylvania and the Marcus A. Foster Award as the outstanding School District Administrator in Philadelphia. He is married and lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two young daughters. He is the former Principal of John F. Reynolds Elementary School in North Philadelphia and the author of the best-selling book, “I Choose to Stay”, released in hardcover in March 2003 by Kensington Publishing. The Walt Disney Company recently purchased the movie rights to “I Choose to Stay”. His second book, “The Immortality of Influence”, was published in May 2006. This book stresses the importance of parenting, mentoring and service to others.

Currently, Thomas-EL is principal at Russell Byers Public Charter School in Philadelphia and coordinates after-school chess programs in the School District. Reflecting on how it feels to see a young person he has mentored walk down the aisle toward a real future instead of to an early grave, Thomas-EL has said: “I’ve been to too many funerals; I need to go to more graduations.” The event will take place on Thursday, April 23 at 7:30 pm. in Dudley Theatre. A limited number of complimentary tickets are available in 105 Logan Annex for Cheyney faculty, staff, and students. General admission is $15. Mr. Thomas-El’s appearance is sponsored by a grant Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Title III).

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). PASSHE comprises Pennsylvania’s 14 public universities, with a combined enrollment of more than 112,500, making it the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. The 14 PASSHE universities offer degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. Approximately 405,000 PASSHE alumni live and work in Pennsylvania. The 14 PASSHE universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania.

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Cheyney University is the nation’s oldest historically Black institution of higher education. It is also the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. At its inception, the school successfully provided free classical education for qualified young people, and today the university offers baccalaureate degrees in more than 30 disciplines and six master’s degree programs. For more information, please visit the website at

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