- Associated Press - Thursday, June 12, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Board of Education has voted to hire Tony Wood as the new top official overseeing the state’s public schools.

The board on Thursday unanimously approved Wood as the new Education Commissioner, replacing Tom Kimbrell as the department’s top official. Gov. Mike Beebe in May recommended Wood, currently the department’s deputy commissioner, as the new chief.

Wood will assume his new role July 1, the same day Kimbrell is set to take his new job as the Bryant School District’s superintendent.

Wood is a former chemistry and biology teacher who has served as superintendent of the Kensett and Searcy school districts.

Wood will be paid the same salary Kimbrell receives, which is $228,887.

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