The event will take place from noon to 3 p.m. at the Waterfall Room, 2015 S. Water Street. The school will honor educators Althea Leslie and Joseph Tedesco, community activist Wei Chen and Executive Board/VP Alumni Association Tarez Williams. Tickets are $35 and due by Oct. 29. Visit sphsalumni.com for more information.
About the Honorees:
the forefront of bringing Dance or Movement into the curriculum at Southern.
A supporter of the Arts Program at Southern, she established a dance troupe and was the main choreographer for many of the school shows produced during her time there, influencing several Rams alumni into careers in the arts. Leslie taught for 40 years in the School District of Philadelphia and was a member of the Joan Kerr Dance Company before becoming a choreographer for different dance troupes in the tri-state area.
Tedesco is married to Joan Black-Tedesco, a like-minded English teacher of 47 years from South Philly. Together, they have two children and two grandchildren.
In 2008 and 2009, Chen’s anti-bias and racial healing won national acclaim, helping create the South Philadelphia High Chinese Student Association and eventually leading a major boycott of the school for more than eight days following persistent anti-Asian and anti-immigrant harassment.
In 2014, Chen founded Chinatown Vote and is on the board of Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia. He was one of 10 people nationally awarded a Peace First Prize fellowship to continue his organization’s addressing bias harassment. In 2015, Chen was appointed to serve as commissioner of the city Commission on Human Relations. In 2020, co-founded API PA, Pennsylvania’s first Asian-focused 501(c)4 organization.
After a tremendous track and field career at Southern, Williams was the first female in school history to receive a full athletic scholarship to college and was the recipient of one of largest athletic scholarships awarded in SPHS history and attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
Retired with 36 years of service to Citizens Bank where she served as vice president, Williams has served on boards including Mt. Enon Community Outreach and Refuge Temple. Tarez is a mother of three children and has six grandchildren.