Dr. Steve Horton became the school's seventh Executive Director in 2016. He is a 1988 graduate of Northwestern State University, earning bachelor’s degrees in journalism and secondary teacher education. He earned the master of journalism degree in 1990 and the doctor of philosophy degree in K-12 vocational education with a minor in communication in 1998, both from Louisiana State University.
His first job was as a residence hall director for LSMSA in 1987-88, and he then taught at Captain Shreve High School in Shreveport before joining the Northwestern faculty as an instructor of journalism. He served in various positions on the campus, including Director of Alumni Affairs, Head of the Department of Journalism, Dean of the Graduate School and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He ended his tenure at Northwestern in July 2016 as Chief Academic Officer, Dean and Professor of Education. He returned to LSMSA as Executive Director at that time. He continues to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in communication and teacher education for Northwestern State.
In the Natchitoches community, Dr. Horton serves as a member of the Natchitoches Historic District Commission and has completed terms as president of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Society and the Natchitoches Historic Foundation. Currently, he serves on the board of directors of City Bank and Trust Co., and the NSU Foundation, and he is President of the Mystic Krewe de St. Denis. Dr. Horton is a member of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. In 2017, he was inducted in the Hall of Distinguished Educators at Northwestern, and in 2020, he was named Leadership Professional of the Year for the Louisiana Council for Exceptional Children.
He and his wife, Emilyn, have two daughters: Elizabeth, a Registered Nurse in Shreveport who graduated from The University of Mississippi; and Mary Katherine, also an Ole Miss graduate who is pursuing a master’s degree in student affairs and higher education at Northwestern State University.