Alyssa Henry • Nixa Public Schools
Ronald Thornton, a local Nixa resident,
has found a passion in volunteering
for Nixa Public Schools. With a love
for photography, he uses his gift
to take pictures of Nixa athletes
at their various sporting events.
When asked what inspired
him to start volunteering with
Nixa Public Schools, he went
back to 2011 at an Optimist
Club meeting where he and Superintendent
FALL 2017 Stephen Kleinsmith
were involved. He explained that
during one of the meetings, Kleinsmith
brought Coco-Cola sport calendars that had all
the Nixa sports team’s game schedules
printed on them.
“When I picked up one of the
schedules and read it over I realized I
could take pictures at these events,”
Thornton attends each home
game and even some away games.
He photographs multiple Nixa sports
teams and has found he really loves
taking pictures at the football games.
“At fi rst I didn’t want to take pictures at the football
games because I was worried I would get run over,”
Thornton said. “Now football games are my favorite to
take pictures at.”
Thornton has always loved devoting his time to students and
helping them gain a different aspect on life. About eight years ago,
he became a part of the Adopt-A-Class program. Adopt-A-Class is
an opportunity for Nixa Chamber of Commerce members to bring
real-world experiences to the students of Nixa.
When Thornton fi rst became involved in the program, he would
take pictures, pass them around to the students, and then they
would all talk about them together.
He started purchasing albums for the classrooms so that there
would be a place he could keep all his pictures and for the students
to have easy access to them.
His students have become fascinated with his close-up shots of
insects and nature that he uses his focus-stacking skills on.
“Sometimes my students will see a leaf fl oating in a puddle outside
and they will say ‘Mr. Ron would love this!’” Thornton said.
Thornton said that the nice part about volunteering with Nixa is
that he doesn’t have to do anything he doesn’t want to. He truly just
loves using his skills for photography to help students grow and
Ronald Thornton can be
found at most every home
football game, taking photos
of the athletes, which he
shares with the school.
Photo by Jeff Kessinger/
THE NEST NIXA PUBLIC SCHOOLS MAGAZINE 21