Today marked a new start for the Wake County Public School System.
Thursday was the first day on the job for the district's new superintendent, James Merrill. The new leader said he spent the day meeting with teachers and faculty.
He is no stranger to Wake County. Merrill worked in Wake County school system for 16 years as a teacher and administrator. He left his post as superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools to return to Wake County.
Merrill also addressed some concerns people have about the new state budget.
The superintendent said he has not reviewed that budget and does not yet know the impact it will have on the state's largest school district.
He expects to be able to do that next week.
But Merrill did say the ever-increasing mandates and demands on teachers from both the state and federal level is not fair.
"Pay is not adjusted accordingly. Calendars are not lengthened, so we're squeezing more and more into the same size shoe. Very unfair for teachers," Merrill said.
Merrill also addressed some of the dysfunction on the Wake County school Board in the last few years.
Merrill was hired by a Democrat majority school board to replace Tony Tata, a republican choice. Tata was fired after a bussing debacle marred the start of the 2012-13 school year.
He said he's not getting into that, saying, "I'm an academic leader, not a political one."