Deputy Superintendent

Office of the Deputy Superintendent


Robert Thornell, Ed.D. was selected as Northwest ISD’s deputy superintendent in May of 2018. He currently oversees three divisions in NISD: Curriculum and Instruction, Technology, and Facilities & Planning, Athletics, and Fine Arts Departments.

Dr. Thornell has also been assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction from December 2013-2018. With a focus on instructional goals and vast experience with professional learning communities, he has helped ensure that every student is future ready.

Dr. Thornell previously served as the executive director of curriculum and staff development where his responsibilities included oversight of curriculum development and implementation. While in that position, he was instrumental in the development of a district-wide Community-Based Accountability system which was implemented in 2013.

Dr. Thornell joined Northwest ISD as principal of Chisholm Trial Middle School in 2007. Under his leadership, the school was named a “School to Watch” by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) in 2011. Prior to his career in Northwest ISD, he served as a principal for four years at Timberline Elementary in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and an assistant principal at Coppell Middle School East and Denton Creek Elementary in Coppell ISD. He began his career in education as a fourth and fifth-grade teacher.

Dr. Thornell is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), Learning Forward (formerly National Association of Staff Development), Phi Delta Kappan, and Texas Middle School Association. He is a past state board of directors member of Texas ASCD. He is a certified trainer for the National Institute of School Leadership (NISL), a program designed for transformational school leaders, and was part of the fifth cohort of the Texas ASCD Curriculum Leadership Academy. A true educator at heart, he has presented at the state and national level on topics ranging from professional development to education transformation.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in multi-disciplinary studies from Texas Tech University, his master’s degree in education administration from the University of North Texas, and his doctorate in education administration from Baylor University.