CARY, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina's largest school system has hired a Virginia educator as its new school superintendent.
The Wake County School Board voted 7-2 on Tuesday to hire James Merrill as superintendent.
Merrill has been running the Virginia Beach city public schools. He previously worked in Wake County schools from 1984 until 2000.
The 62-year-old Merrill was selected over Ann Clark, deputy superintendent for Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools.
Merrill says he's excited and honored to return to Raleigh. He will start Aug. 1.
School board Chairman Keith Sutton says Merrill will be paid $275,000 a year on a contract that runs through June 2017.
Merrill replaces Tony Tata, who was fired in September by the school board's Democratic majority. Tata has since become North Carolina's transportation secretary under Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.
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