Norfolk Public Schools Website

NPS Operating Status: Normal


Dr. Michael E Thornton, Acting Superintendent

Dr. Michael E ThorntonDr. Michael E Thornton was appointed to the position of Acting Superintendent of Norfolk Public Schools effective May 1, 2015. 


A veteran school business official and educator, Dr. Thornton has more than 28 years of financial and administrative leadership experience in public education.  Prior to his appointment as Acting Superintendent, Dr. Thornton served as Chief Operations Officer with Norfolk Schools.  Prior to returning to Norfolk Schools in January 2013, Dr. Thornton served as the Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations for nearly seven years with Hanover County Public Schools in Ashland, Virginia.  In addition, Dr. Thornton has served as Chief Operations Officer with Hampton City Schools and Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Administrative Services with Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools.  In total, Dr. Thornton has more than 15 years of executive-level school administrative experience.


Dr. Thornton began his professional career as an internal auditor at the university level.  In 1990, he transitioned to public school finance as a school activity fund auditor with Norfolk City Schools.  He has also served as a payroll administrator, chief accountant, and business manager.


Dr. Thornton holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Tech.  He earned the Master of Public Administration from Old Dominion University and the Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Norfolk State University.


In 2014, Dr. Thornton was named Administrator of the Year by the Association of Educational Office Professionals of Norfolk.


Dr. Thornton is a part-time faculty member with the University of Virginia’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.  In addition, he serves as an adjunct professor with Virginia Tech. 


Dr. Thornton is a Norfolk native and received his primary and elementary education in the Norfolk school system.  He currently resides in Virginia Beach with his wife of 25 years, Donna, and they are the proud parents of three daughters:  Alexis, Alyssa, and Alayna.


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Phone: (757) 628-3482

Norfolk Public Schools   
800 E. City Hall Ave.
Norfolk, Va 23510
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