Thomas-EL featured in “The Principal”

Salome Thomas-EL’s story is well-known. His ground-breaking book “I Choose to Stay” is one of inspiration and hope. Having made a decision to stay in the rough inner-city schools of Philadelphia, Thomas-EL has been traveling the country and telling his story. Now a Principal at Russell Byers Charter School, he will not have to travel as much since his story. He will be the subject of a TV show called, “The Principal.” A preview can be seen below.

The Principal from Silver Machine on Vimeo.


  1. Salome Thomas-EL Recognized at Health Partners Foundation
    2008 Making a Difference Awards

    Emceed by 6ABC’s Lisa Thomas-Laury, the event honored Salome Thomas-EL, Philadelphia teacher and best-selling author of I Choose to Stay: A Black Teacher Refuses to Desert the Inner City. Thomas-EL, the Foundation’s Partners Award winner, received national acclaim as a chess coach at Vaux Middle School, leading his students to win eight National Chess Championships. Through his mentoring and message of hope, Thomas-EL, who recently sold the movie rights for I Choose to Stay to the Walt Disney Company, has helped hundreds of local students go on to attend major universities and begin promising careers.


  2. I directed at the 2008 National Elementary Championships in Pittsburgh.

    For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out where all the black kids in blue and white “Russell Byers” T-shirts were from. (I didn’t have time to look durign the tournament.) Now that I see Mr. EL is the CEO of the school, it makes sense.

  3. Salome Thomas-EL inspires on King Day

    Author and teacher Salome Thomas-EL, dressed to the nines and clutching a microphone in one hand, darted across the south room of Long Island Sound Banquets Monday morning, taking questions from the 50 or so high school students who watched with rapt attention. They came from East Aurora and West Aurora schools, the best and the brightest, and were there to be inspired.


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