The Board Welcomes Our New Superintendent

Posted on June 22, 2022
Categories: Blog, Insights with the Board

On June 16th, Tony B. Watlington, Sr., Ed.D., was sworn in as the new Superintendent for the School District of Philadelphia. The swearing-in ceremony took place at the School District Administration Building and was followed by a reception for employees to meet the new Superintendent. Dr. Watlington will soon be sharing his vision for the School District along with a 100-day plan for moving the District forward.

Dr. Watlington, who most recently served as Superintendent of North Carolina’s Rowan-Salisbury School District, was appointed in April after the Board conducted a local and national search. Dr. Watlington, who has 27 years of educational experience, was selected to succeed William R. Hite Jr., who is transitioning to a new position after serving as the School District’s Superintendent for nearly 10 years.

Dr. Watlington has served in various positions throughout his career, including as a high school teacher, principal, chief of schools and superintendent. His specialty areas are instructional leadership, closing achievement gaps, organizational efficiency and fiscal management, developing school/community/university partnerships and equity education.

Our new superintendent holds a bachelor’s 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 both a master’s degree in School Administration and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where he was a North Carolina Principal Fellow.

“Dr. Watlington is a deeply experienced, respected, innovative and visionary educator whose background and expertise make him the right person to be our new Superintendent for the School District of Philadelphia,” said Board President Joyce S. Wilkerson.

Dr. Watlington was appointed following a six-month search process that began with the Board asking Philadelphians for the qualities and capabilities they desired in the next leader of the District. Nearly 6,000 people responded in 48 listening sessions across the city and a digital survey with the results published in a 27-page report highlighting the feedback the Board received. With the assistance of the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller and a Superintendent Search Advisory Committee, representing the voices of diverse communities, the Board narrowed the field to three candidates which led to the selection of Dr. Watlington.

“The Board is proud to have delivered on our promise,” said Leticia Egea-Hinton, Board Vice President. “We have appointed a successor to Dr. Hite who can lead the School District forward with a commitment to the themes we heard from nearly 6,000 Philadelphians in our community engagement process. What’s more, Dr. Watlington has a proven track record of lifting up the objectives found in our own Goals & Guardrails’ vision for our students and schools.”