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Getting Dads Involved in Schools With Otha Thornton, President of National PTA

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Marie Roker Jones

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In the studio is Otha Thornton, the first African American male to lead the National Parent Teacher Association. Mr. Thornton will be discussing the importance of dads involvement in schools. We'll be talking about what schools can do to encourage dads.

Otha Thornton, president of National PTA, is a senior operations analyst with General Dynamics in Fort Stewart, Georgia. He is a retired United States Army Lieutenant Colonel and his last two assignments were with the White House Communications Agency and United States Forces-Iraq in Baghdad. Thornton earned the Bronze Star Medal for exceptional performance in combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom 2009-2010.

Previously, Thornton served on National PTA's Board of Directors, Legislative Committee, Membership Committee, and Executive Search Committee. During his time with Georgia PTA, Otha served on the Board of Directors as legislative chair and as an Advisory Group member for Georgia's Partnership for Excellence in Education.

Thornton also served Maryland PTA as nominating leader, board development committee chairman, and as a member of Anne Arundel County’s Superintendent High Performing High School Task Force. In addition, he was appointed by the governor of Maryland to serve on a Maryland Education Task Force.

Thornton’s military background allowed him to volunteer throughout the country and the world at various local and council levels.

Mr. Thornton is a married dad of two. His wife Caryn is an educator. He received his bachelor’s degree in urban studies from Morehouse College and a master’s degree in communications from Michigan Technological University. He was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Michigan Technological University in 2009.

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