Dr. Salome Thomas-EL: Shout It Out LOUD!

Jeff PrickettPrincipal Leadership Lab Podcast

Join Jeff & Adam as they chat with Dr. Salome Thomas-El, or “Principal EL!”

Leadership Journey

“I choose to stay” defines his trajectory

HS teachers told him forget about the NBA, began working in TV and Production

Started talking to kids about his work in TV and basketball stars, talking to him about teachers and the difference they made in his life

Quit TV job and went back to school to achieve his Master’s and went into education

“HS reform does not begin in high school”

Started a chess program

2003 – I Choose To Stay was released – Disney optioned the rights; his autobiography about his life and playing chess

Penn State, not the State Pen

Schools are one piece, with so much on their plates; we need the community to do their part as well!

I know you’re tired, but you may also be uninspired – message to his staff

“These children will keep us on our toes and on our knees”

“An administrator adds to the MINISTRY!”

I am who I am because of the relationship I’ve had with…Thoughts of students.

If we treat every person with compassion, we never have to say we’re sorry – Principal DeWitt

You are empowering others to deliver love, passion and grace when you do the same

What is our capacity to learn? We learn from one another. This is the question moving forward.

“I want more for you so that our community will have more” – Salome’s mother

“If you’re out there making those cuts, sit on your butts” – regarding budget cuts of programs and after-school activities

Diamonds in the Rough – the new name…  LOL



Passionate Leadership

Building a Winning Team

The Immortality of Influence (foreword by Will Smith)

I Choose To Stay (Movie Rights Optioned by Disney)

Retention for Change


Leadership Challenge/Opportunity

Never talking to his teachers about the plan to create a K-8;

Had a great vision, but left teachers out of the initial conversation.

Listen, because it makes you a better person.

No excuses. Apologize and start over.

Shout-Outs to teachers, custodians, bus drivers, social workers, families, instructional assistants, nurses, tech staff, front office staff



2022 hoping to find a way to move through the second half of the school year and that our young educators stay in the profession.

You can be me, because I was once you.

Stop praying for a lighter load; start praying for a stronger back

Be a blesser, not a stressor




Principal EL on Twitter




Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt


Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt


Principal Leadership Lab

Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt


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