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 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.
Earlier in the day the board voted to remove the Dollarway School District in Jefferson County from state control, effective Oct. 1
The state took over the district in 2012, citing problems with Dollarway's administration and student performance. The nearly 1,300-student district had been on probation for two years before the state takeover.
After the takeover, Dollarway's school board was dissolved and a new superintendent was appointed.