“Every child needs someone to be crazy about him.” These are the words of Salome Thomas-EL, award-winning teacher, principal, and nationally recognized educator. They shape his lifelong commitment to answering the question, “How do we ensure that all children achieve their greatest potential?” This question lies at the heart of the national dialogue on education policy, the day in and day out work of school personnel, and the hopes of every parent. Central to this challenge is how we succeed with children who are facing the most serious barriers to success. For over 20 years, Principal EL has taken on this challenge with the absolute belief that children can and will learn as long as adults in their world care enough to not give up. Principal EL will discuss how the attitudes of school staff, parents, and community members can shape school climate and culture, a fundamental aspect of universal, preventive strategies for eliminating non-academic barriers to student achievement. Principal EL brings to the process a powerful combination of passion, caring, and leadership to craft a refreshing, commonsense roadmap to help kids achieve their dreams, no matter the odds.