Wake County Public School System superintendent announces retirement

Posted November 21, 2017 8:40 p.m. EST
Updated November 21, 2017 10:17 p.m. EST

— Wake County Public School System Superintendent Jim Merrill announced Tuesday night that he will be retiring early next year.

Merrill said during a Tuesday night meeting that he will be stepping down from the position effective Feb. 1, 2018.

“As you may expect, I have a whirlwind of emotions about this decision. I have enjoyed, beyond measure, my twenty plus years of serving the adults and children of Wake County,” he said.

Merrill became superintendent of the Wake County Public School System in August 2013, but previously worked for the district as an associate superintendent of finance and an assistant superintendent of human resources. He was named North Carolina Superintendent of the Year in 2017.

Merrill led the creation of the district’s 202 strategic plan, which board members said they will continue in his absence.

“I am clear and have great clarity that your decision to retire and enjoy your life is the right decision for you. I also recognize that you are leaving Wake County schools in a place we hoped it to be when you decided to come back here and lead the district,’ said Board of Education chairwoman Monkia Johnson-Hostler.

“New leadership gives new opportunities, but I really want to thank you for laying the foundation for new leadership and the opportunities that are going to come,” board member Dr. James Martin said. “You came to us at a very challenging time, we’ve worked through a lot together and with heartfelt thanks, I can say you’re a friend not a colleague.”

The search for a new superintendent is expected to begin in the coming weeks.