Former Wake County superintendent comes out of retirement, takes over in Wayne County

Wayne County News

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – A former Wake County Public School System superintendent is coming out of retirement to take over in Wayne County, according to district officials.

Dr. Jim Merrill, who retired as superintendent of Wake County schools in early 2018, was hired to take over on an interim basis on Wednesday night after a unanimous vote by the Board.

The move came after Dr. Michael J. Dunsmore resigned his position as superintendent of Wayne County Public Schools. Dunsmore had been with the district since July 2015.

Merrill began his tenure in Wake County in 2013 and over the next five years “significantly smoothed board and superintendent relations, as well as relations with the Board of Commissioners,” according to a Wayne County press release.

When Merrill was hired, the Wake County school district was made up of 160,000 students at 187 schools.

Merrill is taking over in Wayne County where the district’s local fund balance has a deficit of nearly $5 million, according to comments from Dunsmore on Tuesday. He went on to say that “the Board will need assistance from the County of Wayne to cover the cost of local supplements in June, and that the district had not yet received any extension for its 2020-2021 local budget,” according to the release.

Merrill has been named North Carolina Superintendent of the Year twice – once in 2005 and again in 2017. He was also the Virginia State Superintendent of the Year in 2013.

Merrill will serve as the acting superintendent of Wayne County Schools starting Thursday and will serve in that role until June 26. On June 27 he will take over as interim superintendent.

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