Wake County Schools

Wake school superintendent moves to head of NC class

Posted November 17

Wake County School Superintendent Jim Merrill, center, listens to school board member Bill Fletcher, left, during a May 31, 2016, budget discussion.
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— Wake County Public School System Superintendent Jim Merrill was named North Carolina’s 2017 Superintendent of the Year on Thursday.

"This is a well-deserved honor, and our school board is thrilled to see the work of Dr. Merrill and our community recognized," school board Chairman Tom Benton said in a statement. "Dr. Merrill has brought the kind of stability and focus to this district that our community demands and deserves."

Merrill has overseen the nation's 16th-largest school district for more than three years. About 160,000 students attend 177 public schools in Wake County.

In his application, he stressed the importance of the district’s strategic plan, which was developed from community input in 2014. The plan calls for the district to annually graduate at least 95 percent of its students ready for productive citizenship, as well as higher education or a career.

This is the second time Merrill has been named Superintendent of the Year in North Carolina and the third overall. He won the award in 2005, when he oversaw the Alamance-Burlington School System, and was named Virginia's top school administrator in 2013, when he was superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools.

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