Return to Headlines

Board of Education Welcomes Dr. Jim Merrill, Interim Superintendent













August 2, 2023


Dear OCS Teachers and Staff, Families, and Community Members:


Please join me and the Orange County Board of Education in welcoming Dr. Jim Merrill as our interim Superintendent. Dr. Merrill was sworn in this morning. He has been working with OCS leaders all week to learn more about the district, our schools, and our people.





Dr. Merrill is a resident of Mebane and a veteran educator. He brings over 17 years of experience as a school superintendent in several school districts, including the Wake County Public School System, Alamance-Burlington School System, and Virginia Beach (Va.) City Schools. Dr. Merrill has a proven track record of success and has been honored as State Superintendent of the Year in both North Carolina and Virginia, as well as being named a finalist for National Superintendent of the Year.


More importantly, Dr. Merrill shares our vision to prepare every student learner for lifelong service and success. He embraces our commitment to equity and educating students in a safe, inclusive environment where we can inspire them to reach their maximum potential. He is a proven advocate for teachers and staff and for creating a culture and climate built on meaningful communications, transparency, and trust. 


“I count it an honor to be asked to join Orange County Schools in opening the 2023-2024 school year,” Dr. Merrill said. “Orange County’s commitment to academic progress for all students is well known in North Carolina. I look forward to collaborating with teachers, support staff, school and district leadership, parents, and community advocates as we help our young people learn and grow.”


Over the coming weeks, our board will be working closely with you and Dr. Merrill to prepare for the coming new school year. We will keep you apprised of progress along the way. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me or any of our board members with your comments or questions. 


Thank you for supporting Orange County Schools.    





Anne Purcell, Board Chair

Orange County Board of Education



CC: Orange County Board of Education (

Dr. James Merrill, Interim Superintendent (


Andre Richmond, Vice Chair (

Will Atherton (

Carrie Doyle (

Bonnie Hauser (

Dr. Jennifer Moore (

Sarah Smylie (