Editorial: Welcome, Jim Merrill

July 6, 2013 

Jim Merrill won the Wake County School Superintendent sweepstakes.

His history with Wake County led many to peg him as the favorite even before the finalists met the public and began their open courtship for the position.

He’s worked as an administrator in Wake County for many years before leaving the system to fill superintendencies with, first, Alamance County, then Virginia Beach, schools.

He has worked in progressively larger school systems, giving many, including us, hope that he is well-suited to lead one of the largest school districts in the nation.

As we did with former Superintendent Tony Tata, we encourage Merrill to become a familiar face to those in eastern Wake County.

His Wake County experience should help him realize the validity of the claims people here will make that eastern Wake County schools need to be among his important focuses.

As he develops a strategy for lifting all the schools in Wake County, he would do well to understand the unique circumstances that exist in this region, making education more of a challenge than in other parts of Wake County.

We certainly would never expect Merrill – or any other school leader to focus solely on eastern Wake County, but his plans for improving all schools may mean applying additional resources in the places they are needed the most.

It is our hope that members of the Wake County Board of Education will rely on his experience in this field to foster his inititatives and not to micromanage his efforts. Time will tell, of course, but it seems as if a great deal of acrimony among school board members has declined, giving Merrill more solid footing on which to do his job.

It’s an important one – arguably the most important job in Wake County.

We wish him luck and we look forward to seeing him become an regular presence in eastern Wake County.

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