Hey, Superintendent Tony B. Watlington Sr. You’re probably already getting an earful about how messed up Philly schools are.

The challenges you will face once you officially take office in June will be enormous. Our school buildings are old and in need of expensive updating. Only about 35% of students meet state standards in English and just 21% in math. The district is scrambling to hire 900 teachers for the next academic year. There’s more to it than just that. But you’ll be briefed on these issues once you move here and take over from Superintendent William R. Hite Jr.

As you search for a home here and familiarize yourself with the myriad challenges the Philadelphia School District faces, we need you to keep this in mind: Don’t doubt even for a moment that your future students can and do achieve great things despite the incredible odds stacked against many of them.

We need you to see them as achievers and not as victims of their circumstances.

We need you to be their champion.

We need you to set an example for the entire School District administration.

We need you to set high expectations for all involved and to let them know that the whole city is invested in students’ success. We hope that the graduation rate will continue to increase during your tenure as it did under Hite. We need for the city’s graduation rate to rise to 100%. Set that as a goal.

As you’ve probably heard, Philly has the sauce. It doesn’t get a lot of press, but many of our public school grads go on and do really well in their respective fields. Take what happened in the last week. The world watched as five exemplary Philly public high school grads received their industries’ highest honors for being the best at what they do.

North Philly legend Dawn Staley, a Murrell Dobbins Career and Technical High School graduate, won her second NCAA championship last week and made sports history by becoming the first Black head coach of a Division I basketball program, men’s or women’s, to win two national championships.

R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan, another North Philly homegirl and a graduate of the High School of the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), won not one but two Grammys — for best R&B album for Heaux Tales and best R&B performance category for her song “Pick Up Your Feelings.”

Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, also a CAPA graduate, won both a Grammy for his documentary Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) and an Oscar for the same project in the same week. Jazz bandleader Christian McBride, who also is a CAPA graduate, took home his eighth Grammy, this time for best large jazz ensemble album.

And amid all of the backlash about his ill-tempered smacking of comedian Chris Rock, Will Smith, a 1986 Overbrook High School grad, won an Academy Award for best actor.

» READ MORE: Don’t call Will Smith’s Oscar night assault ‘a Philly thing’ | Jenice Armstrong

That’s a whole lot of winning.

And although it doesn’t always make headlines, many Philadelphia students are beating the odds academically as well. You will likely hear about the ones who get high SAT scores and snag major scholarships. But you won’t hear nearly as much about the students who are quietly turning in their assignments, doing everything that they are supposed to do in school, and preparing to head off to college.

“In a city where we are faced with so many problems in regards to gun violence and truancy, a lot of attention is given to that,” said Mister Mann Frisby, a former Daily News reporter and novelist. “But what often is overlooked are the students — especially the young Black men who are excellent,” Frisby continued. “We overlook them because they are doing OK. But just because you got a 4.0 [grade point average] doesn’t mean that it has been easy.”

That’s why Frisby decided to begin hosting the Achievers’ Brunch, which celebrates college-bound graduating seniors while also helping them prepare for college life.

“We just have to encourage them,” he said. “Just look at last week. When you look up and see Will Smith winning an Oscar and on the opposite end in the athletic realm, Dawn Staley, who has been excellence personified for decades, win a national championship. That just shows the diversity and grit of Philly.”

News headlines are full of the absolute worst about our young people — shootings, carjackings, and robberies.

Part of your job as superintendent is to help turn that narrative around.

That begins by believing in Philly students.