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2008 News Releases

Cumberland County school superintendent to give Sankofa Lecture at Longwood

September 3, 2008

Dr. James Thornton, superintendent of the Cumberland County schools, will speak Thursday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. in Longwood University’s Orr Auditorium (Hull 132) about a drop-out prevention program that he developed.

Thornton, a 1985 Longwood graduate, will speak on "New Beginnings: A Comprehensive Drop-Out Prevention Program for Grades 9-12." The drop-out prevention program is now being used in the Cumberland County and Nottoway County school divisions.

Thornton has been with the Cumberland school division since 1991, starting as a math teacher at the high school, and has been superintendent since October 2004. He also has been assistant superintendent of administration and finance, principal of the high school, and athletic director.

Under his leadership, the division has received state recognition for accountability, technology implementation and collaborative partnerships with members of the private sector and higher education. Thornton spearheaded the approval of the $33 million middle and high school complex that opened recently.

He has a B.S. in math from Longwood, a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from Virginia State University and a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies from Virginia Tech.

The talk is part of the Sankofa Lecture Series, established by Dr. Deneese Jones, dean of the College of Education and Human Services, as a forum to discuss diverse ideas in the education field today.