(In the tune of Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars) 

Oh your eyes, your eyes look at us and always checking

Your smile, your smile we love to see it in the morning

You’re so wonderful.

And we tell you every day.

Yeah we know, we know

You work hard with your Edison staff

Your love for us leads on the right track.

And every time you straighten us it is ok

And we say…

When we see your face

There’s not a thing that we would change

Sir El you’re amazing just the way you are

And when you smile you inspire us all the time

Sir El you’re amazing just the way you are

Your rap, your rap every lunch time we look forward

Your jokes, your jokes are sometimes oh so awkward

You’re our principal

And we love you anyway

Oh you know, you know, you know

We never ask you to change

Your crazy love for us

Will always stay the same

Oh, you touch our hearts, you change our lives

Thank you for everything

When we see your face

There’s not a thing that we would change

Sir El you’re amazing just the way you are

When you smile you inspire us all the time

Sir El you’re amazing just the way you are.

The way you are

The way you are

Cause you’re amazing just the way you are

When we see your face

There’s not a thing that we would change

Sir El you’re amazing just the way you are

***Principal El Happy Birthday. We love you. ❤ From your TECS Junior Academy

Salome Thomas-EL is a national education expert and consultant.  He was a teacher and principal with the Philadelphia School District from 1987-2009. 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. Principal EL is a regular contributor on “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, which stresses the importance of mentoring, parenting and service to others. The Walt Disney Company optioned the movie rights to I Choose to Stay. Thomas-EL speaks to groups across the country and frequently appears on C-SPAN, CNN, and NPR Radio. He is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania and is currently a doctoral candidate. Principal EL lives in Delaware County, PA with his wife and two young daughters.  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.  Principal EL was honored as a Reader’s Digest Magazine, “Inspiring American Icon” and recently appeared on The Oprah Radio Network.

To Learn more about our amazing Principal El please visit the following pages:



An Ex-Mafia Boss Sharing God’s Word

Today is a very exciting Sunday in Restore Church. We’ve heard a very powerful message by the former ex-mafia boss Michael Franzese. We were on the edge of our sit as we listen to every word he said. He was one of the most notorious mob bosses of the 80s. After 10 years in prison, this former “Prince of the Mafia” is now a man on a mission for the King of Kings. He grew up as the son of the notorious Underboss of New York’s violent and feared Colombo crime family. Franzese was “one of the biggest money earners the Mob had seen since Al Capone” and the youngest individuals on Fortune magazine’s list of The Fifty Biggest Mafia Bosses, ranking #18, just five behind John Gotti. At his most affluent, he generated an estimated $5 to $8 million per week from legal and illegal businesses. It was a life filled with power, luxury and deadly violence.

He shared to us what their family went through as a kid and as he grow up hating the law enforcers, how they live the life under surveillance and the struggle of belonging to a mafia circle. Michael’s story is a modern-day Damascus Road experience, from his early days in the Mob and rise to power to God’s leading him to do the unthinkable: quit the Mob and follow Jesus. In fact, Nobody of Franzese’s rank had ever just walked away – and lived. Until now.

He gave up the mob lifestyle that he was used to initially for his love Camille but little did he know it was a divine set-up that will turn his life 180 degrees leaving his past behind and truly follow Jesus. What touched my heart the most was the time that he was thrown in “the hole” and kept isolated during most of the 3-year sentence in the prison cell. That was the worst time of his life, the very first time he felt hopeless and helpless but that was the time that he had a “one-on-one” encounter with God. After studying about 300 books about religion that was sent to him by his wife, he found the light in the Bible. He was able to reflect and God spoke to his heart. It was unexplainable how God changed his analytical thinking mind to a spiritual faith-filled one. Michael quoted “When you are at your worst, that is when God is at His best.” He can turn things around, He can make the most out of the worst situation we are in so we can hear from Him.

He is totally right when he said that the entire message of the bible is about forgiveness and redemption. He also emphasized that the sign of a real Christian is not to be perfect but ask for forgiveness for the sin committed and become better. We are going to sin but we have to keep in mind that God forgives all our sin. We can never be perfect but we can always become a better person than we were yesterday. Do not let the past haunt you because you are forgiven by God and born again. You can serve God regardless of your past mistakes because you are now a new creation in Him. If you feel unqualified to be used by God remember this: He tends to recruit from the PITS, and not the pedestal. Here are some examples: God found Gideon in a hole, Joseph in a prison cell, Daniel in a lion’s den and Paul in the midst of trouble. If you are at the worst time of your life and you thing that you are the worst person in the world, keep your head high because God is coming to rescue you. He will lift you out of the darkness and He will use you mightily for His Kingdom.

We do not need to live a mob life or experience a drastic change in our life so we can share a testimony or serve in God’s kingdom. May be you are called to share the gospel to one person that will eventually lead to his salvation. All of us are called by God to serve our purpose on earth. We are all a piece of God’s puzzle and we are all equally important. Are you ready to answer God’s call?

Remember these words from Michael Franzese “If you are not walking with God then, you are walking parallel to Him but at some point, it will intersect and you will encounter God.” 

Check his message: mob boss

Deconstructed to be Reconstructed

Note: This blog was written to share the message that we heard from Pastor Jess this morning. This is a very powerful, moving and timely Word. 

First Filipino Teacher Honored with “Teacher as a Hero Award” in Philadelphia, PA

I am very humbled and honored to be chosen as one of the “Teacher as a Hero awardee of National Liberty Museum. There is an ongoing exhibit  in the NLM Museum featuring the 15 Awardees, bring your family, friends and school to know more about the heroes in our communities and around the world. 

Click the link foTeacher as a Heror more info:


First Filipino Teacher to be Honored with “Teacher as a Hero Award” in Philadelphia US
Mary Angel Alim- Flores will be one of the 2014-2015 “Teacher As Hero” Awards recipients on April 30.

Philadelphia, PA (April 23, 2015) – Mary Angel Alim- Flores, the math department chair and middle school math teacher at Truebright Science Academy Charter School is one of 15 of teachers in the Delaware Valley who will be honored by the National Liberty Museum during the 2015 “Teacher As Hero” Awards on April 30.

The event will be emceed by 6abc’s Shirleen Allicot, and will feature a keynote address by Salome Thomas-EL, National Education Expert, and Award-Winning Teacher and Principal in Philadelphia, as well as special award presentations by State Farm Representatives.

The “Teacher As Hero” award is annually given to a number of educators in the region who inspire, motivate and educate young people. Teachers are nominated by their administration, other peers, or as in the case of Ms. Flores – their students.

Flores came to the United States from the Philippines and originally taught for several years in the Baltimore City Public School system. Her journey there was well documented, as Flores was one of four Filipino women to be featured in a PBS documentary entitled “The Learning,” which aimed to capture the experiences and impact of migrating to the US to teach. After making the move to Philadelphia from Baltimore, Flores quickly flourished as the head of the math department – raising test scores and organizing events that combine learning and cultural lessons.

Her biggest accomplishment is the school’s Multicultural Day, where students not only learn history about various countries, but also get to experience the food, music, dance and culture. Twenty teachers transformed their classrooms into a different country, and students were given passports to travel the world. With the funds raised on this day, Mary Angel and the students at TSACS were able to raise enough money to sponsor two Filipino students for an entire year – covering the cost of education, supplies, and even clothes. “I teach because it is my passion to give as much back to students, both here in America and in the Philippines,” said Flores when asked what drives her each day.

About the Teacher as Hero Award Nomination Process
The National Liberty Museum invited fellow educators, school administrators, students, and community members to share stories of teachers who have made a positive impact in the community. Community members were asked to nominate educators who foster an appreciation for diversity in the classroom; teach students how to resolve conflicts respectfully; give students a deeper understanding of the relationship between rights and responsibilities; honor student voice in the classroom and in public spaces; take risks in order to remove an obstacle to a student’s liberty; incorporate the above concepts in their relationships with colleagues and community members; or demonstrate excellence in teaching teen driver safety or an auto safety initiative. After receiving an overwhelming number of submissions, the judging was then done by the NLM’s leadership in consultation with State Farm.

The award ceremony will take place at 5:30 PM on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at the National Liberty Museum located at 321 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA. After the awards ceremony, the stories of these winners will be displayed in the NLM’s Live Like a Hero Gallery for one year, presenting a visual and captivating ‘Teacher as Hero’ exhibit for all the public to see.

Full List of 2015 ‘Teacher as Hero’ Award Recipients:

Amy Hatlee- Governor Mifflin High School (Shillington, PA)
Carol Turano – Pinelands Regional School District (Tuckerton, NJ)
Christopher Rupertus – St. Joseph’s Preparatory School (Philadelphia, PA)
Mary Angel Alim- Flores Truebright Science Academy Charter School (Philadelphia, PA)
Christie Besack – Central Bucks High School West (Doylestown, PA)
Lisa Teixeira – Kennett High School, (Kennett Square, PA)
David Magpiong – Voorhees Middle School (Voorhees, NJ)
David Stokes – The Paul Robeson High School for Human Services (Philadelphia, PA)
Emily Domineske – St. Basil Academy (Jenkintown, PA)
Evan Kramp – Strawberry Mansion High School (Philadelphia, PA)
Jennifer Mahieu – Samsel Upper Elementary School (Parlin, NJ)
Kevin Forik – Richard Allen Preparatory Charter (Abington, PA)
Marilyn Larke – Camden County Technical School (Pennsauken, NJ)
Peggy Marie Savage – Richmond Elementary School   (Philadelphia, PA)
Sara Flounders – Boy’s Latin of Philadelphia Charter School (Philadelphia, PA)

About Truebright Science Academy Charter School: The mission of the Truebright Science Academy Charter School (TSACS) is to offer an educational model that will equip all students with the core skills necessary to succeed in the highest-ranked colleges and the competitive world beyond.
TSACS recognizes that the students will enter a global workforce. As well as encouraging excellence in education, TSACS’ educational programs will contribute to the social development of our students. Through these programs and opportunities provided with field trips and international student-exchange experiences, our students will become more mature, more culturally aware, will attain a broad, global perspective, and will become productive world citizens. For more information visit

About the National Liberty Museum: The National Liberty Museum is the only museum in the country dedicated to advancing liberty though fostering strong character and civic engagement. Each year, approximately 70,000 visitors walk through the museum’s front steps and are inspired by its unique 78 exhibits and are given the chance to have a uniquely reflective experience through its collection of glass art. The Museum is actively working to bring liberty to life through outreach opportunities including its Young Heroes Club program, which teaches students about liberty, strong character, and how to live like a hero every day. Thanks to grant support from the John Templeton Foundation, the program has been provided with the resources to now be the strongest and most meaningful Young Heroes curriculum yet.

The National Liberty Museum believes that civic engagement, grounded in strong character, enables liberty to flourish. And that each of us can be a hero of liberty. Because, where liberty lives, people live better.