UMass Dartmouth
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Nationally recognized inner city Philadelphia educator featured speaker at UMass Dartmouth Martin Luther King, Jr.  breakfast , Feb. 2, 2007

Salome Thomas-EL has received national acclaim as a teacher and chess coach who has motivated students to stay in school and go to college; also appearing will be rising jazz star, 2005 alumna Candida Rose

Salome Thomas- EL, a nationally recognized educator who has motivated hundreds of inner city Philadelphia students to stay in school and go on to college, will be the featured speaker at the Fifth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast at UMass Dartmouth on Feb. 2 at 8:30 a.m. in the Woodland Commons Community Center.

Tickets are $15 for faculty, staff and community members; $5 for students.

Also appearing at the breakfast will be Candida Rose, a 2005 graduate of UMass Dartmouth who recently released her debut jazz CD, Kabumerikana: The Sum of Me (Golden Rose Music).

The event will also include the presentation of the annual UMass Dartmouth MLK Drum Major Awards, created by the University to acknowledge the contributions of both campus and community leaders who work diligently to keep Dr. King's dream alive.

"I've been to too many funerals; I need to go to more graduations," Thomas-EL has said.

Born and raised in the inner city of Philadelphia, 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.

Currently, he is the Principal at John F. Reynolds Elementary School in North Philadelphia and the author of the best-selling book, I Choose to Stay. The Walt Disney Company recently purchased the movie rights to the book.

Rose graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, and a minor in African and African/American Studies. Before moving on into the recording world, Rose's voice filled the campus in May 2005 when she sang the National Anthem during commencement ceremonies.

She has performed solos in the National Center of Afro-American Artists' production of Langston Hughes' "Black Nativity," and she has performed with the New England Conservatory's Millennium Choir.

The New Bedford native applies herself to a myriad of other musical efforts in the region. The New Bedford branch of the NAACP gave her an Artistic Service Excellence Award in recognition of her dedication to the community.

For more information, visit or call 508.999.8008.

Author:  "John Hoey"
Date:  22-Dec-2006
Department:   News & Public Information

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