School board discusses superintendent decisions in closed session

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 6, 2022

SALISBURY — The Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education discussed its impending superintendent transition behind closed doors with its attorney on Tuesday.

The board spoke for about an hour and a half about the single agenda item for the emergency meeting, citing personnel issues and attorney client privilege as the reason for the closed session. The board had nothing to report after leaving closed session and Board Chair Dean Hunter confirmed the discussion was about the superintendent issue.

The meeting was called Monday on the heels of an announcement Friday that current RSS Superintendent Tony Watlington will be the next leader of the School District of Philadelphia. Watlington will not start in Philly until June and the RSS board will have to search for a new superintendent.

“We just have some decisions to make going forward now that he’s taken the job,” Hunter said after the meeting.

Watlington was named superintendent by the RSS board in December of 2020 and sworn in January of 2021. He was hired with a $185,000 salary. He will be paid $340,000 annually in Philadelphia.

Hunter said the contents of an upcoming Monday board meeting will be discussed today. He could not say with certainty there will be any discussion about the superintendent on Monday, but there may be some information on the search by then.

Watlington did not attend the meeting. Boards typically choose who will be part of closed sessions, which are not unusual when the elected board discusses issues protected by state privacy laws like those involving students and employees.

Former superintendent Lynn Moody announced her retirement in September of 2020 and the board tapped Watlington as the district’s next leader three months later.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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