District Announces New Superintendent
Today, the Board of Education announced the appointment of Tony B. Watlington Sr., Ed.D. as the next Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia. What a great day for our city! Dr. Watlington is a visionary educator with 27 years of experience, who began his career as a history teacher in Guilford County, NC, in 1994. Since January 2021, he has served as superintendent of Rowan-Salisbury Schools, North Carolina’s only Renewal School District. He previously served as Chief of Schools in Guilford County Schools, the third-largest school district in North Carolina and the 47th largest among 14,000 school districts in the United States.
Dr. Watlington is a collaborative, results-oriented leader focused on improving systems that lead to an extraordinary education for every student every day. A first-generation college graduate and a champion for equity, he is committed to building collaborative school and community teams accountable for creating life-changing opportunities for all children while significantly reducing achievement and opportunity gaps. He received his undergraduate degree in History Education from North Carolina A&T State University, a Master’s degree in American Political History from The Ohio State University, and a Master’s degree in School Administration and a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where he was a North Carolina Principal Fellow. Watlington also holds training certificates from Harvard and Yale Universities and is a member of the National Urban Superintendent’s Academy sponsored by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).
Our children’s academic success and preparation to thrive, succeed and lead in a global society remain the district’s top priorities. It has been my pleasure to provide you with periodic updates about the process – from the launch of our initial public input phase, up through our most recent correspondence when the Board brought the finalists to Philadelphia. Thank you for placing your confidence in the Board as we worked to install the most qualified and experienced education leader to continue the School District’s Goals and Guardrails vision for student success.
As for next steps, Dr. Watlington will officially join us as superintendent on Thursday, June 16, 2022. As he settles in and gets acclimated here in our school district, Dr. Hite will be instrumental in the onboarding process – and the Board will work collaboratively with Dr. Watlington and our school district stakeholders to not only support a smooth transition, but to also ensure we are setting him up for success. He will also need the encouragement, support, and positive energy of the entire city, and I hope I can count on you for that.
Above all else, we thank you for participating in the #PHLSuperSearch. Please feel free to continue visiting philasd.org/schoolboard/search for additional updates about Dr. Watlington’s arrival in Philadelphia and our plans to welcome him to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection!
Vice-President Board of Education
School District of Philadelphia