The Superintendent of Wayne County Public Schools has resigned. The Wayne County Board of Education accepted the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Michael Dunsmore late Wednesday evening. The school board also named Dr. James Merrill acting superintendent through June 26th. Merrill will then become the interim superintendent for the district on June 27th.
Dunsmore’s resignation comes one day after he informed the Board of Education of a nearly $5 million deficit in the district’s fund balance. WCPS’s Finance Officer Michale Hayes had resigned May 26th and was not on-hand to answer questions about the deficit at yesterday’s meeting. Dr. Dunsmore’s resignation is effective June 26th.
According to WCPS:
“Dr. Merrill is a state and nationally recognized education leader who has a proven track record of bringing stability to school districts in difficult times. In 2013, Dr. Merrill was hired to bring vision and a new strategic direction to WCPSS, the state’s largest school district made up of approximately 160 thousand students across 187 schools. Over the next five years, Dr. Merrill significantly smoothed board and superintendent relations, as well as relations with the Board of Commissioners.
Prior to his 17.5 years of experience as a superintendent, he served as an Associate Superintendent for Administration/Chief Finance Officer for WCPSS, and as a part of that role oversaw the performance audit for all central offices. In addition, he served as an Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for WCPSS. It is worth noting that as superintendent of WCPSS, Dr. Merrill achieved numerous awards for the passage of $810 million bond referendum which he supported annually. Dr. Merrill managed and increased a $657.4 million operating budget while superintendent of Virginia Beach Schools. He also previously served as a Board member, and Chair, for both the NC State Employees Credit Union and the NC State Employees Credit Union Foundation.
Dr. Merrill is a two-time North Carolina Superintendent of the Year, achieving this distinction in both 2005 and 2017. He was the Virginia State Superintendent of the Year in 2013 and was a national finalist in the National Superintendent of the Year program in 2017. He was also a North Carolina Governor’s Appointee to the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission.”