School District of Philadelphia
watlington philly

North Carolina administrator chosen as Philadelphia school superintendent

April 6, 2022
Tony Watlington, who now leads the Rowan-Salisbury (N.C.) district, will succeed William Hite in Philadelphia.

A North Carolina educator has been named the next superintendent of the Philadelphia school district.

Tony B. Watlington, who now serves as superintendent of the Rowan-Salisbury district, will begin his job in Philadelphia on June 16, the school board says in a news release.

Watlington is replacing William Hite, who is leaving the Philadelphia district in June after 10 years as superintendent.

Since January 2021, Watlington has been superintendent in the Rowan-Salisbury district since January 2021. The district has more than 18,000 students in  33 schools; has an annual operating budget of $191,545,200. 

Before that, Watlington was Chief of Schools in Guilford County Schools, where he began his career as a history teacher.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Watlington signed a five-year contract with a one-year renewal option, and will be paid $340,000, with no incentive clauses. The Philadelphia district has 216 schools, 115,000 students, and a $3.9 billion budget.

Watlington, 51, was one of three finalists for the job. He was chosen over John Davis, chief of schools in the Baltimore city district, and Krish Mohip, the deputy education officer for the Illinois State Board of Education.

In its hiring announcement, the board urged Philadelphians to support the district's new leader.

"It is critical for the stability, growth, and morale of the entire school district that Dr. Watlington is set up for success.," the board says. "The board is deeply committed to ensuring this happens. The first step in onboarding Dr. Watlington will be working alongside Dr. Hite and school district stakeholders to facilitate knowledge transfer and relationship continuity."

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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