Mary Ellen Walker Thornton (BS, 1964; MA, 1968) has served on the CHSS Advisory Board since its inception. She is past president of the SHSU Alumni Board of Directors (2012), past chair of the Conference on English Leadership, a division of the National Council of Teachers of English, and she served for two years on the NCTE Executive Committee. Additionally, she was the president of the Houston and Metro Councils of Teachers of English.
A lifelong educator, Mrs. Thornton has teaching experience in Houston and Bryan ISDs, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Texas A & M University, Houston Baptist University, and Lon Morris College. She also served as assistant director of information at Houston Baptist University.
Mrs. Thornton has experience as a secondary department chair, an English supervisor, a dean of instruction, and a principal in Houston ISD and received the principal of the year award for District XI and an award for an outstanding parent patrol volunteer program. She served as principal of Leverett’s Chapel and Kilgore ISDs and as a department chair and associate professor at Lon Morris College. While at Lon Morris, she served as an advisor for Rho Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and received the Horizon Award for Leadership at the Texas Regional Conference.
Mrs. Thornton is currently employed as a coach for interns with Texas Teachers, an alternative certification program. She is married to Dr. J. Frank Thornton, an adjunct professor in history at SHSU. The Thorntons have a son, Dr. Robert Thornton, and two grandchildren.