The state Board of Education voted Thursday to name James “Tony” Wood of Searcy as successor to outgoing state Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell.
Wood, the deputy commissioner of education under Kimbrell, was Gov. Mike Beebe's recommendation last month for the post. Kimbrell will leave his post at the end of this month to become superintendent of the Bryant School District.
The board went into executive session during lunch to discuss Wood's hiring. The members emerged shortly after 1:30 p.m. and voted unanimously to approve Wood as the choice.
Brenda Gullett, the chairman of the board, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette last month that she expected the board would "enthusiastically accept" Beebe's recommendation.
Wood is expected to start July 1.