GUILFORD COUNTY — A veteran of the Guilford County Schools has been promoted to chief of schools.

Marshall Matson began in the role effective Wednesday, Jan. 13. The school system announced his promotion late Tuesday night after the Guilford County Board of Education held a closed session to discuss personnel issues.

Matson succeeds Tony Watlington, who left last month or in November to become superintendent of the Rowan County/Salisbury schools.

The chief of schools is one of eight members of the superintendent’s cabinet, the top layer of administrators in the school system.

Matson has been a school support officer since 2018, providing supervision and support for nine high schools and four early and middle colleges in Learning Area 9, and he also served briefly as director of blended learning.

Before that, Matson spent 10 years as principal at Mendenhall Middle and at Peeler Open Elementary. During that time, he assisted in long-term district planning as a member of the superintendent’s transition team, the superintendent’s advisory board and the curriculum task force planning team. Schools under his leadership were named Most Improved School in GCS three times, and he was a GCS principal of the year finalist in 2012-13.

Matson also spent three years as program director of the North Carolina New Schools Project, where he managed a portfolio of 18 redesigned high schools in various stages of planning and implementation. He began his education career as a Teach for America Corps member at CB Martin Middle School in Tarboro, where he taught for 10 years.

Matson holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in school supervision and administration from East Carolina University. He was a North Carolina Principal Fellow, Class 8.