Chief Legal Counsel
William Thornton was selected to be the Chief Legal Counsel for Kansas City Public Schools in November of 2018. He had most recently served as the General Legal Counsel for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Seconary Education since February of 2014. Before that, Mr. Thornton was the Kansas Secretary of Commerce from November 2009 to January 2011 under Governor Mark Parkinson.
Thornton received a bachelor’s degree from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctor from Washburn University's School of Law. Thornton worked with Hallmark Cards and also as an attorney with Duncan-Senecal Law Offices, Chartered, in Atchison.
Thornton was appointed to the Kansas Board of Regents by former Governor Kathleen Sebelius in 2007, as well as the Kansas Mentor’s Leadership Council and the Kansas Health Care Information Exchange Commission. He was appointed to the Advisory Committee of the Kansas Long Range Transportation Plan by Secretary of Transportation Deb Miller.
Mr. Thornton has also served as the Atchison Hospital Association’s Board Chair, on the University of Kansas’ Multicultural Scholars National Board of Advisors, as the Vice President of Citizens for Community Action of Atchison, as a Board Member and District Leader for the Midori Yama Budokai Martial Arts Association and as President of the Trustee Board for Shiloh Baptist Church.