First African-American Male Takes PTA Helm

23 Jun


Otha Thornton Installed as President Today, Will Focus on Leadership, Advocacy and Membership

CINCINNATI, OH, Jun 23, 2013 (Menafn – Marketwired via COMTEX) –Today, Mr. Otha Thornton was installed as president of the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), making history as the firstAfrican-American male chosen to lead the association. The ceremonytook place at the PTA’s annual convention at Duke Energy ConventionCenter in Cincinnati, where he addressed the more than 1,000attendees in his first official speech in the position.

“This is an exciting opportunity, and I am proud to have been electedto lead the charge for parents and teachers across the nation, and toensure that our children have the tools and support they need tosucceed,” Thornton said. “As president, I am committed to expandingPTA’s membership, leadership development and advocacy efforts tostrengthen the association and fully empower families, teachers andcommunities to advocate for all children.”

Mr. Thornton brings unique experience and extensive involvement atall levels of the PTA to his leadership role. A retired U.S. ArmyLieutenant Colonel who earned the Bronze Star Medal for exceptionalperformance in combat operations in 2009 and 2010 during OperationsIraqi Freedom, he and his family have lived all over the world, andhis two children have been part of school systems in Georgia,Maryland, Michigan, Texas, as well as the Department of DefenseSchools overseas.

“We are thrilled to welcome Otha as president,” said Eric Hargis,executive director of National PTA. “His extensive leadershipexperience in various PTA roles across the country and globe bring adynamic perspective that will energize the National PTA’s continuingwork to promote children’s health, well-being and educational successthrough strong parent, family and community involvement.”

Mr. Thornton previously served on the Georgia PTA Board of Directorsand on the PTA’s national Board of Directors. He currently resides inSavannah, Georgia, with his wife of 20 years.

“The PTA is critical in bringing the voices of parents to theforefront on issues, working together to strengthen school safety,provide kids with healthy, nutritious lunches and implementconsistent learning goals across the country,” Thornton said.”Parents are an essential voice in the education reform debate, andwe need to be much more than an audience. We need to be partners inthe education of our children, and I am looking forward to engagingwith diverse communities across the country to ensure that allparents have a voice in their children’s education.”

About the National PTA National Parent Teacher Association isdedicated to making every child’s potential a reality by engaging andempowering families and communities to advocate for all children.National PTA is comprised of 55 state congresses and nearly 26,000local units in 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. VirginIslands, Puerto Rico and the Department of Defense Schools in Europeand the Pacific. More information about National PTA and our ongoingwork is available on Twitter, Facebook and at

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