Merrill received the honor Tuesday evening at the Virginia Association of School Superintendents annual conference in Roanoke.
Association president Pam Moran called Merrill's leadership "innovative, visionary and bold."
Merrill was selected for the honor by the state Superintendent of Public Instruction and the leaders of four Virginia education organizations. He is eligible for the the National Superintendent of the Year Award, which will be presented in February 2013 by the American Association of School Administrators
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Charges have been made in a domestic abuse investigation involving a 74-year-old woman in Elizabeth City.
Witnesses tell WAVY.com the attack of a shopper was the cause of a heavy police presence at the Ross department store at Military Circle in Norfolk Wednesday night.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.