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Thornton's arrival raises hopes [Letter]

It's no secret that for the past eight months the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners had been conducting a robust search for the system's next CEO. With the board's selection of Gregory Thornton to take the helm, I believe the next CEO has been carefully chosen ("New Baltimore schools chief navigated complex terrain in Milwaukee," Feb. 23).

I am so honored to have been a member of the board at such a pivotal moment. I witnessed the careful decisions that were made to put the most suitable person in the leadership role responsible for 85,000 students.

Personally, I preferred the next superintendent to have been a teacher and from Baltimore. But Mr. Thornton comes to us with many other credentials. Mr. Thornton has been a teacher who has worked his way up through the ranks, and Milwaukee's public schools have faced similar problems to Baltimore's.

Born in Philadelphia, he knows what an urban school district faces. Having been a teacher, he can relate to the daily work of our teachers. As a principal, he has the knowledge of potential conflicts between schools and district offices. As a former chief academic officer in Philadelphia, he understands the importance of a strong curriculum for students and our transition into Common Core standards. As an area superintendent and deputy superintendent for Montgomery County Public Schools, he has keen insight into the state's education system. And as a former superintendent for two school districts, he understands that even today politics still exist in education. More important, he understands the importance of motivating administrators, teachers, counselors and students. In addition, as a parent and grandparent, Mr. Thornton wants all children to be afforded the same quality public school education that he wants for his own family.

As I joined Mr. Thornton, his wife, students, stakeholders, principals and other board members in his welcoming tour, I felt an excitement from individuals who met him. I know they have set big goals for him to accomplish.

I would like to personally thank Tisha Edwards for serving in many important roles within the city school system. Her commitment to children and dedication to her duties as interim chief executive officer is admirable.

This was an extremely difficult decision for the board to make, yet I know that under Mr. Thornton's leadership and with the full cooperation of students, staff, partners, elected officials and our remarkable historic school construction plan, we can make this the top school district in America.

Cody L. Dorsey, Baltimore

The writer is student commissioner on the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners.

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Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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