Superintendent James Merrill has been named Virginia Superintendent of the Year by the Virginia Association of School Superintendents.
Merrill was picked from among eight finalists, who were selected from the state's 133 school superintendents.
Merrill has led Virginia Beach schools since July, 2006. The division is the third largest in the state.
In presenting the award Tuesday night, VASS president Pam Moran described Merrill's leadership as "innovative, visionary and bold," according to a news release.
Merrill is now eligible for the national superintendent-of-the-year award, given in February by the American Association of School Administrators.