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New Superintendent for Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Exciting News! The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education voted to name Dr. Tony B. Watlington, Sr. as the next superintendent for the Rowan-Salisbury Schools. The announcement was made during a special called meeting on Monday, December 7, 2020.

“I am excited for the opportunity to have Dr. Watlington jump on board with our district at a time when we have so many things to be excited about,” says Kevin Jones, school board chair.  “Dr. Moody laid the groundwork for what our district can become. We believe Dr. Watlington can continue to move us along this same path.” 

Dr. Watlington currently serves as the Chief of Schools for Guilford County Schools (GCS). In this position, he is responsible for improvements that lead to excellence and equity for all students, and he is committed to building collaborative school and community teams that create life changing opportunities for all children while reducing the achievement and opportunity gaps.

“Along with our strong team, Dr. Watlington will press us to continue to use our Renewal status for innovative and groundbreaking education,” says Jones.  

During the superintendent search process, school board members carefully reviewed all applications and interviewed five outstanding candidates - bringing back three of those candidates for second interviews.  After the second round of interviews, the board felt confident in naming Dr. Watlington as the next Superintendent for Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

Prior to being Chief of Schools at GCS, Dr. Watlington held the following top leadership positions serving in areas such as: Regional Superintendent, Strategic Planning Officer, and Executive Director. Dr. Watlington began his educational career as a history teacher and was named a district Teacher of the Year. Dr. Watlington has also served as a principal at numerous schools.

Dr. Watlington is the youngest of seven children and a native of Fort Dix, New Jersey. He grew up in  Harnett County, North Carolina and was the first member of his family to attend college. He received his undergraduate degree in History Education from NC A&T State University, a Master’s Degree in American Political History from Ohio State University, a Master’s of School Administration and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from UNC-Chapel Hill - where he was a NC Principal Fellow. Dr. 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).

Among numerous recognitions, Dr. Watlington was honored as the North Carolina PTA Administrator of the Year in 2014, and he received the Communities-in- Schools (CIS) Champion’s Cup, and the Business Leaders Movers and Shakers Award. He also serves on numerous boards, including the Board of Directors for the NC Public School Forum.

Dr. Watlington enjoys spending time with his family, volunteering in his community, CrossFit training and running 5K races, traveling to historic sites, learning to play his guitar, enjoying good food and conversations, and he especially enjoys an occasional basketball game with his 3 sons, Tony Jr., Aaron, and Caleb.   

“I am excited about joining the Rowan-Salisbury family and look forward to working in partnership with the board of education, teachers, principals, students and their families, along with our business and community leaders to make Renewal a huge success,” says Dr. Watlington.

Chairman Jones added, “I believe that Dr. Watlington will be a strong, organized leader who will help our district continue to provide Extraordinary Education Every Day.”