Big Expectations As New District Superintendent Enters Important Role

Oskar Glahn & Marcus Diemer

Staff Writer

Dr. Tony B. Watlington Sr. has accepted the position of Philadelphia School District Superintendent by the School Board. He will assume his new role on June 16, 2022. 

Watlington has some big shoes to fill. The District’s current superintendent, Dr. William Hite, has held the role for over ten years, which is very rare for school district superintendents to hold the office for that long. 

“It’s a hard job, and he did it for ten years,” said Principal Lehmann. “His ten years as superintendent was the longest of anybody’s since Constance Clayton back in the 80’s, so that’s an incredible run.” 

Since June 2012, Dr. Hite has worked hard to create equity and achieve goals of innovation and equality. In his past ten years, Dr. Hite has effectively worked through the district’s obstacles, opened new quality high schools, and conjoined schools with the communities around them. Dr. Hite has been a huge help to Philadelphia’s struggling public schools, and a personable role model for teachers and students within the district. His leadership has a very positive impact on the community.

Dr. Watlington seemed like a very obvious choice to replace Dr. Hite. “It was very clear with these three candidates that Dr. Waltington was the choice of the community. You saw a lot of support for his candidacy,” said Lehmann.  He is an experienced educator and understands the school system. He started out as a history teacher in North Carolina, and made his way up to principal and eventually Superintendent of the  Rowan-Salisbury school district, also in North Carolina. That school district is nowhere near as big as Philadelphia’s, but very few school districts are. 

To gain this position, Dr. Waltington had to contend with many other candidates including John Davis, who was chief of schools in Baltimore, and Krish Mohip, who was on the Illinois State Board of Education who were the two closest contenders. 

Although most teachers and faculty are aware of this change, many students are not. 

“I ain’t even know that we got a new guy [superintendent],” remarked senior Jacob Farrell. Students have not received any information about this change, and most of them don’t really seem to care. “I feel like more people should know about this,” said senior Colin Clapper.

Even though some people are unaware of this new change, we have hopes that Watlington will continue Dr. Hite’s legacy of leadership, and make some positive change. We are looking forward to what comes next. 

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