Personnel File

Gregory Thornton

Gregory Thornton is the Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools.

Official Biography

Gregory Thornton, Ed. D. was appointed Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools in 2010. Under his administration and with the support of the Board of School Directors, the district has reformulated the instruction of literacy, math and science, implemented a Master Facilities Plan, and made significant changes to the structure of employee benefits in an effort to help assure sustainability for the district.

Prior to coming to Milwaukee, Dr. Thornton served as Superintendent of Chester Upland School District in Chester, Pennsylvania, where he facilitated reforms to bring about increases in student achievement, created school-community partnerships and improved the fiscal and business efficiencies of the district. He served previously as Chief Academic Officer of The School District of Philadelphia and has held leadership positions in large school districts in Maryland and North Carolina.

Dr. Thornton received a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education at Temple University in Philadelphia, and his Master of Arts degree in Administration/Supervision at Salisbury State University in Maryland. He earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

Dr. Thornton enjoys sports, reading and spending time with his family. He and his wife have two sons, and one granddaughter.

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Content referencing Gregory Thornton

MPS and Non-Profits Teamed Up to Rescue Carver Academy

MPS and Non-Profits Teamed Up to Rescue Carver Academy

School that was failing "by every measure" is now changing its culture.

Data Wonk: Why Doesn’t Milwaukee Embrace Charter Schools?
Data Wonk

Why Doesn’t Milwaukee Embrace Charter Schools?

Data shows they work better than MPS schools, but board adamantly opposes them.

Charter School Leaders Say Oversight Needed

Charter School Leaders Say Oversight Needed

Republican plan for Milwaukee would allow high-performing charter schools to replicate without any approving authority.

Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Driver goes “On the Issues” to discuss challenges, vision for district’s future
Press Release

Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Driver goes “On the Issues” to discuss challenges, vision for district’s future

Driver came to MPS two years ago to become the district’s first chief innovation officer.

Great Lakes Commits Additional $1.3 Million to MPS TEAM UP College Access Centers
Press Release

Great Lakes Commits Additional $1.3 Million to MPS TEAM UP College Access Centers

Expert, One-on-One Assistance Advances More Milwaukee Students to College

MPS selects 14 schools to be transformed as Commitment Schools
Press Release

MPS selects 14 schools to be transformed as Commitment Schools

Commitment Schools to implement rigorous academic and behavioral interventions with increased resources; all 48 schools graded in the lowest group on state report card to receive additional support

Milwaukee Board of School Directors approves Acting MPS Superintendent
Press Release

Milwaukee Board of School Directors approves Acting MPS Superintendent

MPS’ Chief Innovation Officer Darienne Driver brings extensive leadership experience; work with improving schools most in need

Board approves budget that increases commitment to MPS classrooms: 50 more art, music, and physical education teachers; increased parent engagement and teacher support
2,500+ Milwaukee children set to perform together at 45th MPS’ Biennial Music Festival, celebrating 90 years of student musicians
Press Release

2,500+ Milwaukee children set to perform together at 45th MPS’ Biennial Music Festival, celebrating 90 years of student musicians

Final rehearsals begin Tuesday for Wednesday event at U.S. Cellular Arena; comes as MPS continues to increase number of art, music and physical education teachers

3 MPS students earn ‘life-changing’ Gates college scholarships covering 100% of unmet need
Press Release

3 MPS students earn ‘life-changing’ Gates college scholarships covering 100% of unmet need

May 6 celebration set for winners from MPS’ Carmen H.S. of Science and Technology, Milwaukee School of Languages and South Division H.S.; and partner College Possible

Proposed MPS budget increases investment in classrooms, including 50 more art, music and PE teachers
Press Release

Proposed MPS budget increases investment in classrooms, including 50 more art, music and PE teachers

Also includes a school support teacher and parent coordinator in every school; Continues multi-year trend to focus on classrooms

Op Ed: Why Thornton Is Leaving MPS
Op Ed

Why Thornton Is Leaving MPS

It's all about moving back home, not about frustration with Milwaukee.

U.S. News: Milwaukee region’s 2 best high schools are in MPS
Press Release

U.S. News: Milwaukee region’s 2 best high schools are in MPS

Rankings show MPS is home to 3 of the state’s top 10 high schools

Eyes on Milwaukee: 7 Can’t Miss YP Week Events
Eyes on Milwaukee

7 Can’t Miss YP Week Events

Young Professional Week features some 30 events. Here's our pick of the top seven.

More MPS students meeting reading standards year-over-year and over 5 years
Press Release

More MPS students meeting reading standards year-over-year and over 5 years

Gains follow implementation of Comprehensive Literacy Plan; largest uptick seen at high school but the need for further improvement is great

MPS’ Rufus King in state’s top 3 on Washington Post list of top high schools
Press Release

MPS’ Rufus King in state’s top 3 on Washington Post list of top high schools

King also among the 50 best in the Midwest; the latest in a long line of honors

$250,000 Bucyrus Foundation gift will expand welding lab at MPS’ Bradley Tech H.S.
Press Release

$250,000 Bucyrus Foundation gift will expand welding lab at MPS’ Bradley Tech H.S.

Expands access to an in-demand career pathway

House Confidential: The House of Hank the Dog
House Confidential

The House of Hank the Dog

The Brewer's canine mascot has a nine-room Whitefish Bay home and 10,000 square foot lot to roam in, all worth $570,000.

The State of Politics: New Champion of the City
The State of Politics

New Champion of the City

New council president Michael Murphy is bluntly honest about state politicians in an interview.

Sendoff set as MPS’ Rufus King Generals boys basketball team heads for state
Press Release

Sendoff set as MPS’ Rufus King Generals boys basketball team heads for state

Pep rally to be held Thursday, March 13 at 8:15 a.m. before Friday game

MPS Board Pres. Bonds offers comments on resignation of Supt. Thornton
Press Release

MPS Board Pres. Bonds offers comments on resignation of Supt. Thornton

Statement of School Board President Bondes

Mayor Tom Barrett’s 2014 State of the City Address
Press Release

Mayor Tom Barrett’s 2014 State of the City Address

Milwaukee February 24, 2014 As Prepared for Delivery

Murphy’s Law: Why Did Thornton Leave?
Murphy’s Law

Why Did Thornton Leave?

The loss of MPS superintendent raises troubling questions about public education in Milwaukee.

Dr. Thornton named CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools
Press Release

Dr. Thornton named CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools

Baltimore City Public Schools announced today Dr. Gregory E. Thornton, Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools, will become the new Chief Executive Officer of the district, pending successful contract negotiations.

Looking for a new school for the fall? MPS enrollment now open in person or online
Press Release

Looking for a new school for the fall? MPS enrollment now open in person or online

Apply by Feb. 21 for your best opportunity for a seat in your first-choice school

100+ schools – including options exclusive to MPS – to be showcased at Enrollment Fair
Press Release

100+ schools – including options exclusive to MPS – to be showcased at Enrollment Fair

Strong neighborhood, arts, CTE, IB, language immersion and Montessori schools on display for those looking for a new school for next year or coming years

MPS’ Hamilton senior Kevon Looney named a McDonald’s All American
Press Release

MPS’ Hamilton senior Kevon Looney named a McDonald’s All American

Honor student, basketball standout is 2nd player to win the honor in MPS history; 6th ever in Wisconsin

MPS aquaponics programming expanding thanks to $98,000 from AT&T, NEA Foundation
Press Release

MPS aquaponics programming expanding thanks to $98,000 from AT&T, NEA Foundation

Funding will expand program in Milwaukee to 5 new schools; Farming project grows students’ interest in STEM; photo gallery link below

MPS’ Golda Meir School, rated ‘Exceeds Expectations’ by the state, is expanding into high school
Press Release

MPS’ Golda Meir School, rated ‘Exceeds Expectations’ by the state, is expanding into high school

January open house and testing dates set for top-rated gifted and talented school with a limited number of 9th-grade seats available for upcoming year

Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Teachtown MKE launches crowdfunding campaign
Press Release

Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Teachtown MKE launches crowdfunding campaign

Educational initiative to use crowdfunding to make teacher’s classroom dreams come true

One of America’s ‘Best and Brightest Young Artists’ is at MPS’ Milwaukee High School of the Arts
Press Release

One of America’s ‘Best and Brightest Young Artists’ is at MPS’ Milwaukee High School of the Arts

MHSA students have received the national honor for four straight years

Council vote advances redevelopment plan to create IB Middle Years school, community uses at Malcolm X site
Press Release

Council vote advances redevelopment plan to create IB Middle Years school, community uses at Malcolm X site

The Milwaukee Common Council voted Tuesday to move forward a comprehensive redevelopment of Milwaukee Public Schools’ former Malcolm X Academy that would include a rigorous, college preparatory International Baccalaureate Middle Years school along with improved performance and athletic space for the community and a mixed-use development.

Leader at MPS’ Pulaski High wins national ‘Principal of the Year’ honors from NABSE
Press Release

Leader at MPS’ Pulaski High wins national ‘Principal of the Year’ honors from NABSE

And Pulaski business educator Mauricio Garzon honored by national group

MPS educator named Phy. Ed. ‘Teacher of the Year’
Press Release

MPS educator named Phy. Ed. ‘Teacher of the Year’

5 MPS educators in total -- including Dr. Thornton -- honored for commitment to PE; MPS has added 90+ art, music, PE specialists to schools

Murphy’s Law: Police Scam Artists
Murphy’s Law

Police Scam Artists

Why does the cop’s union protect officers who rip off taxpayers?

Murphy’s Law: Milwaukee’s Most Underestimated Leader?
Murphy’s Law

Milwaukee’s Most Underestimated Leader?

MPS superintendent Gregory Thornton has quietly righted a ship that once looked ready to sink.

MPS seeks proposals for innovative teacher housing concept at Dover site
Press Release

MPS seeks proposals for innovative teacher housing concept at Dover site

Formal Request for Proposals for a first-in-the-region facility issued Tuesday

Murphy’s Law: How Republicans Will Hurt City Real Estate
Murphy’s Law

How Republicans Will Hurt City Real Estate

Reacting to a smelly deal involving one school building, legislators are pushing a badly-flawed bill that worsens the problem.

MPS enrollment grows for the first time in a decade
Press Release

MPS enrollment grows for the first time in a decade

Families recognizing significant improvement and successes

Riverside girls track team to cut ribbon on new track Saturday
Press Release

Riverside girls track team to cut ribbon on new track Saturday

Set for 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 12 at school; track had not been upgraded since 1977

New Rufus King, Riverside high school principals coming back to familiar places
Press Release

New Rufus King, Riverside high school principals coming back to familiar places

Jennifer Smith is a graduate of Rufus King, Michael Harris graduated from Riverside

Murphy’s Law: The Media’s Declining Clout
Murphy’s Law

The Media’s Declining Clout

As newspaper readership declines, government officials increasingly ignore stories that once would have embarrassed them.

Op-Ed: Send in the Cops?
Op-Ed

Send in the Cops?

Ald. Donovan wants more cops in MPS, Chief Flynn wants a different approach. Who’s right?

Murphy’s Law: How MPS Is Improving Instruction
Murphy’s Law

How MPS Is Improving Instruction

Common Core Standards are changing schools here and statewide, but Tea Party Republicans object.

Uncertain Outlook for Milwaukee Public Schools?

Uncertain Outlook for Milwaukee Public Schools?

Poverty, crime and retiree benefits all are issues for MPS, Thornton tells conference on schools.

Still looking for the right school? Enrollment and playground fun nights begin Monday
Press Release

Still looking for the right school? Enrollment and playground fun nights begin Monday

School tours -- and free family fun -- offered at 5 northwest-side MPS schools

House Confidential: Grant Langley’s Dour Ranch Home
House Confidential

Grant Langley’s Dour Ranch Home

It may be one of the dullest, most invisible homes in Milwaukee, and just barely.

House Confidential: Gregory Thornton’s Urban Apartment
House Confidential

Gregory Thornton’s Urban Apartment

He's got a place in the 23 story Prospect Towers, but is it named after Armstrong, Ellington or maybe Billie Holiday?

Jackie Robinson Middle School Remade as Senior Living Community

Jackie Robinson Middle School Remade as Senior Living Community

Gorman & Company recently completed the conversion of Jackie Robinson Middle School into the Sherman Park Senior Living Community.

MPS’ Rufus King wins national ACT award for college and career readiness
Press Release

MPS’ Rufus King wins national ACT award for college and career readiness

Rufus King International School is the only high school in the nation to receive the award

3 MPS students win Gates scholarships covering 100% of unmet need to college of their choice
Press Release

3 MPS students win Gates scholarships covering 100% of unmet need to college of their choice

Students from MPS' Riverside, South Division who worked with College Possible to be recognized at Monday event

Governor, state supt. nominate MPS’ Rufus King for national ACT award
Press Release

Governor, state supt. nominate MPS’ Rufus King for national ACT award

MPS' Rufus King International School, state's high school nominee, to be recognized Monday

MPS budget plan doubles most elementary schools’ funding for art, music, physical education teachers
Press Release

MPS budget plan doubles most elementary schools’ funding for art, music, physical education teachers

Budget proposal released Wednesday is focused on investing as much as possible in classrooms

MPS’ top schools again earn high marks in Washington Post, U.S. News national rankings
Press Release

MPS’ top schools again earn high marks in Washington Post, U.S. News national rankings

Post ranks 2 MPS schools as tops the Milwaukee region and among the 50 best in Midwest; U.S. News ranks 3 MPS schools in state top 25

MPS state test score results largely mirror state trend
Press Release

MPS state test score results largely mirror state trend

Results reflect new higher expectations for students across Wisconsin

MPS student wins 1st place in national essay contest
Press Release

MPS student wins 1st place in national essay contest

Lorenzo Contreras returning tonight from trip to NYC to accept honors

MPS’ Gaenslen School wins national recognition for pre-engineering program
Press Release

MPS’ Gaenslen School wins national recognition for pre-engineering program

School awarded Project Lead the Way Gateway to Technology National Recognition

All 5,000 MPS 3rd-graders to experience part of science curriculum at Milwaukee Public Museum
Press Release

All 5,000 MPS 3rd-graders to experience part of science curriculum at Milwaukee Public Museum

Newest Learning Journey partnership to be announced Thursday morning

MPS employee to receive U.S. Department of Defense’s Patriot Award for supporting “citizen warrior” colleague
Press Release

MPS employee to receive U.S. Department of Defense’s Patriot Award for supporting “citizen warrior” colleague

Speech pathologist Wendy Weir, called a ‘hero’ by 1st Sgt. Ginger Macdonald, to receive award Friday at 12:30 p.m. at MPS Central Services

Board approves plan to transform MPS’ Bay View High School
Press Release

Board approves plan to transform MPS’ Bay View High School

School to build on science/technology/engineering/arts/math programs to focus on innovation and creativity; middle school to be phased out; smaller 9th-grade class next year; students, staff will be asked to recommit

MPS’ initial budget plans give another boost to art, music, physical ed as budget survey opens
Press Release

MPS’ initial budget plans give another boost to art, music, physical ed as budget survey opens

Parents, community members asked to weigh in on priorities

M. L. King Library is Open and Will Hold a Special Program on  Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Press Release

M. L. King Library is Open and Will Hold a Special Program on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

All Other Milwaukee Public Libraries are closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

Murphy’s Law: Biggest Taxer in Town
Murphy’s Law

Biggest Taxer in Town

Over the last five years property taxes have been driven by just one of the five local taxing units: Milwaukee Public Schools.

Education: The Long Road to Reform
Education

The Long Road to Reform

It took Boston at least a decade to improve its public schools. Is there a lesson for Milwaukee?

Education: The Impact of Charter Schools
Education

The Impact of Charter Schools

The promise -- and problems -- of America’s most popular alternative to public schools can be seen in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Public Schools Promotes Fire Safety Awareness
Press Release

Milwaukee Public Schools Promotes Fire Safety Awareness

Survive Alive House will host fire safety kick-off and 20th anniversary celebration on October 8.