Students, parents, educators: What should Tony Watlington, Philadelphia’s new superintendent, know about your school?

A man, wearing a blue suit with a blue and purple striped tie, speaks into a microphone during a town hall.
Philadelphia’s school board picked veteran North Carolina educator Tony Watlington to be the city’s next school superintendent, taking over for Superintendent William Hite at a pivotal moment in the district. (Dale Mezzacappa / Chalkbeat)

Starting in June,  Philadelphia will have its first new superintendent of schools in a decade.

The school board announced Friday that Tony Watlington, a veteran North Carolina educator, would succeed Superintendent William Hite after he steps down. 

Watlington’s tenure will come at a time when the district is facing many challenges, including aging and deteriorating buildings, learning loss and other pandemic-related education issues, gun violence, teacher turnover, a constant battle for adequate funding, and proposed revisions of its admissions policy for selective high schools. 

Watlington, who acknowledges that he knows little about Philadelphia, told the people at his announcement that he is “looking forward to listening and learning.” Chalkbeat would like to hear from Philadelphia students, parents and educators. What do you want Watlington to know about what Philadelphia schools need most in this critical moment?

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Dale Mezzacappa is a senior writer for Chalkbeat Philadelphia, where she covers K-12 schools and early childhood education in Philadelphia. Contact Dale at

Caroline Bauman connects Chalkbeat journalists with our readers as the community engagement manager and previously reported at Chalkbeat Tennessee. Connect with Caroline at

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