Merrill appointed as 9th superintendent of state’s largest school district

The Wake County Board of Education voted June 18 to appoint Dr. Jim Merrill as superintendent of the Wake County Public School System, effective August 1.

Merrill, a former Wake County Associate Superintendent of Finance and Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources began his career in 1973 as an English teacher, spending a total of 16 years in Wake County. Merrill is currently Superintendent of the Virginia Beach City Public Schools, the third largest school division in Virginia.

“I am both excited and honored to be chosen as the next superintendent of the Wake County Public School System. This system has a legacy of high student achievement, a community that supports its schools, and is viewed as a leader in the state and the nation,” Merrill said. “We shall continue to herald our student successes and push each child to his or her next level of accomplishment.”

Board Chairman Keith Sutton said, “Dr. Merrill outlined an impressive program of growth for Wake County schools, and brings with him the skill set and institutional knowledge to lead the state’s largest public school district into a new era.”

Prior to his service in Virginia Beach, Dr. Merrill served six years as superintendent of the Alamance-Burlington School System.

Dr. Merrill has earned numerous accolades and awards, including the 2005 North Carolina Superintendent of the Year award and the 2013 Virginia Superintendent of the Year honor. He has also been elected to the Executive Committee of the Governing Board of the American Association of School Administrators. The UNC-Greensboro School of Education awarded him the Outstanding Achievement Award and the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education honored him with its Distinguished Leadership Award.

Dr. Merrill was a Morehead Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill, earning a bachelor’s degree in secondary English. He earned his master’s degree in education administration from Appalachian State University and his doctorate from UNC-Greensboro.

Dr. Merrill will become the 9th superintendent of the Wake County Public School System since the merger of the city and county school systems in 1976.

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