2022 Award of Excellence

2022 Award of Excellence
August 9, 2022 Joyce Garozzo

The Executive Committee of the SPHS Alumni Association is proud to announce the recipients of the Award of Excellence.
Banquet to be held November 5th 2022 at the Waterfall Room.

Althea Leslie, Former SPHS teacher

Althea Leslie s a graduate of Penn State University with a dual degree in Physical Education and Dance. Ms. Leslie or Mrs. Hilsendager for some of her students, taught at Southern from 1968 through 1979. She was at the forefront of bringing Dance or Movement into the curriculum @ SPHS. Althea supported the Arts Program at Southern, establishing a dance troupe and was the main choreographer for many the school shows produced at this time. Her influence and this exposure led some of our alumni into careers in the Arts. She taught for 40 years in the School District of Philadelphia. However, she had a long and celebrated career in the Arts in her own right. She was a member of the Joan Kerr Dance Company. Retiring from her dance career, her talent found her as a sought-after choreographer for different dance troupes in the Tri-State area. Join us on the 5th of November, to celebrate this esteemed educator and artist!

Joseph Tedesco, Former SPHS teacher

JJoe Tedesco is a South Philly guy. Born of Italian parents, he graduated from Bishop Neumann High School and soon after joined the United States Air Force, reaching the rank of Sergeant, specializing in electronics He enrolled in many college courses during those four years. After his discharge, this love for learning led him to La Salle University, Rowan University and a memorable 20 year teaching career in the English Department at South Philadelphia High School. He spent several years in the Motivation Program and became the Yearbook Sponsor in 1992. When he arrived at Southern, he and his colleagues in the English Department were all new teachers who supported and learned from each other. He says he will never forget the lifelong friendships that were created at Southern.
Joe is married to Joan Black-Tedesco, a likeminded English teacher from South Philly for 47 years. They have 2 children and 2 grandchildren

Wei Chen, SPHS Alumni and community activist

Wei Chen is a 2010 graduate of SPHS.  He has an extensive background in his community and volunteer service.  He is  currently the Civic Engagement Coordinator of the Asian American United’s Chinatown Vote Project where he helps to promote voter education and rights in the Asian Community. His volunteer activities include Peace First Organization, Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance and Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia.

Tarez Williams, SPHS Alumni Board Member

Tarez Williams ’84 is receiving the Award of Excellence for her 20+ years of service to the Executive Board of the Alumni Association. She has served as Vice President of the Alumni Association. Upon graduation from Southern, she was the recipient of one of largest Athletic Scholarships awarded in SPHS history. Tarez has served her community as a member of the Boards of Mt. Enon Community Outreach -Executive Financial Officer and Refuge Temple -Executive Board Member. She has recently retired from Citizens Bank with 36 yrs. of service as an Assistant Vice President. Tarez is the proud mother of 3 children: 2 sons & 1 daughter. She has been blessed with 6 grandchildren. Her motto in life has been: ” If at first you don’t succeed, find someone who is and learn from them!”