Mary Anna Thornton, Ph.D.
5400 North Black Oak Lake Road
Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin 54540
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Selected Teaching and Administrative Experience
July 2009 – Present
Assistant Head of School
Conserve School, Wisconsin
Oversee all aspects of educational and residential programs, including 1-1 laptop program, online courses, school blog, teacher websites, student e-portfolios, and Google Apps for Education domain. Administer all student program budgets. Lead faculty hiring process. Supervise and evaluate faculty. Design and implement new programs. Oversee accreditation process. Ensure high quality of academic program. Responsible for student success. Step in as Acting Head when Head of School is off campus.
Adjunct Professor (appointed in 2011), Graduate Fellow Program Advisor and Steering Committee Member (2009-2011)
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Through a cooperative program linking Conserve School with UWSP: Serve on the Graduate Fellowship Advisory Council for the UWSP Graduate Fellowship in Residential Environmental Education. Developed and teach a hybrid course on curriculum development and assessment. Developed a Ning social networking site to introduce new graduate fellows to the program. Mentor/supervise 12 current UWSP graduate students.
April 2003 – July 2009
Principal/Assistant Head of School for Academics
Supervised all aspects of educational programs.
June 2001 – April 2003
Directed start-up phase and implemented inaugural year of all academic systems, including 1-1 laptop program and online curriculum management and delivery system created in Dreamweaver.
July 1997 – June 2001
Assistant Head of School
Quest Academy, Illinois, a Pk-8 independent school.
Supervised all day-to-day school programs and staff.
July 1993 – July 1997
Middle School Director
Supervised all day-to-day middle school operations.
August 1992 – July 1996
Middle School Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher
Developed new interdisciplinary curriculum. Worked closely with math, science, and art teachers.
1989 – 1992
Northwestern University, Chicago and Evanston, Illinois
Taught anthropology and women’s studies
Oakton Community College, Skokie and Des Plaines, Illinois
Taught sociology, psychology, and distance education courses
College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Taught in Talent Search program for gifted 7-8th graders and Kids on Campus program for 3-8th graders
1987 – 1992
Social Science Researcher
Conducted field research for a study on an educational program for disabled children and for a study on ethnicity and aging in Chicago.
Master’s in Educational Technology, August 2011
Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
Certificate in Educational Technology awarded in 2009
Ph.D. in Anthropology, December 1990
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
Areas of interest: human development; psychological anthropology; applied research
B.A. in English Language and Literature, June 1983
University of Dallas, Irving, Texas
Graduate study in education, 1993-95
National-Louis University, Evanston, Illinois
18 credits completed, GPA 4.0
Academic Awards and Honors
National Association of Independent Schools/E.E. Ford Foundation Fellowship, 2004-2005
For intensive training in educational leadership. Included leadership workshops, one-on-one coaching, and 360 degree evaluation
State of Illinois Fellowship, 1993
To fund graduate study in education at National-Louis University.
Eleanor Fellowship, 1990
Support for final 6 months of dissertation completion through the Eleanor Foundation, a Chicago philanthropic organization that recognizes promising young professional women.
Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, 1983-1989
Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, to support doctoral studies
Fulbright Teaching Assistantship, 1983-84
To Austria. Taught 4th-12th grade English.
Selected School Awards
Won by Conserve School students and teachers under my administrative leadership
- 2nd place, International FIRST Robotics Competition, Atlanta, Georgia, 2010
- Amaze Award and Inspire Award, Regional FIRST Robotics Competitions, 2010
- Wisconsin and Minnesota State Championships, FIRST Robotics Competitions, 2010
- Mondialogo International Project Awards (competition promoting crosscultural communication and understanding), invitation to Barcelona conference, 2007, and Beijing conference, 2009, placed in top five internationally out of hundreds of teams
- Five Wisconsin state Envirothon championships (environmental science academic team competition), 2002-2010 (placed 2nd other years), placed in top ten in national competitions twice
- NAIS “Teacher of the Future” Awards (2) for global perspective and innovative technology use, 2008
- State of Wisconsin Citizen Science Educator Award, 2007
- State of Wisconsin Quiz Bowl Championships, 2003 and 2004
Accreditation Visiting Teams
Invited by AdvancED (formerly North Central) and ISACS (Independent Schools Association of the Central States) to serve on the following accreditation evaluation teams. Typically called on to evaluate overall curriculum; humanities and technology curriculum; school climate; and gender and equity.
- Chair, Marquette University High School, Wisconsin (2013)
- Chair, Trees for Tomorrow Natural Resources Specialty School, Wisconsin (2013)
- Brookfield East High School, Wisconsin (20112)
- The Principia School, St. Louis, Missouri (2002, 2009)
- Springer School and Center, Cincinnati, Ohio (2007)
- Armitage Academy, Kenosha, Wisconsin (2006)
- Countryside School, Champagne, Illinois (2000)
- Sycamore School, Indianapolis, Indiana (1998)
- Garden: Trained as a Master Gardener through the University of Wisconsin Extension – Vilas County; founded and maintain Conserve School organic garden
- Outdoor Activities: Hiking, cross-country skiing, tennis
- The Arts: Paint, draw, and play flute in local ensembles