Dr. Gregory E. Thornton’s career in education spans more than thirty years and includes experiences as a teacher, elementary and secondary principal, and a variety of leadership positions with ever-increasing responsibilities. He currently serves as Resident Faculty Advisor with the National Institute for School Leaders (NISL), a division of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE).
Dr. Thornton served as Chief Executive Officer of Baltimore City Public Schools and in Superintendent positions in Milwaukee Public Schools and the Chester Upland School District. Dr. Thornton served as Chief Academic Officer for the School District of Philadelphia, as well as leadership positions at Montgomery County Public Schools and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Public Schools.
As Chief Executive Officer in Baltimore City, Dr. Thornton resolved a $100 million budget deficit and put the district on the pathway to financial stability. He also developed the district’s first five-year strategic plan since the launch of the school reform program in Baltimore, with an emphasis on identifying and implementing a standard of care for all students. As part of that standard, Dr. Thornton expanded the fine arts program in elementary schools and broadened the district’s relationship with Junior Achievement to offer JA’s financial literacy capstone programs for all 5th and 7th grade students in Baltimore.
In four years as Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools, Dr. Thornton made significant progress in creating a more efficient, transparent district office. He instituted financial changes reducing pension liabilities by half and stabilized district finances. Art, music, and physical education were restored after having been cut dramatically.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Dr. Thornton attended Philadelphia public schools and then Temple University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education. He subsequently earned his Master of Arts degree in Administration/Supervision at Salisbury State University in Maryland and his doctorate in Educational Leadership at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.
Dr. Thornton was a member of the inaugural development and implementation team of the Aspiring Superintendents Program in the University of Pennsylvania Center for Educational Excellence, served as a dissertation chair at Nova Southeastern University and as an instructor at Gardner-Webb University and National Louis University, where he focused on creating future leaders Acting Co-Director of the Howard University/American Association of School Administrators (AASA) Urban Superintendents Academy (USA) and on the steering committee of the AASA/Howard University Urban Superintendents’ Academy.