William R. McNeal is the Superintendent of Schools for the Wake County Public School System. He has devoted nearly his entire career to the Wake County School System, beginning as a junior high school teacher in 1974 and to being named superintendent in 2000. Throughout his career, McNeal has been committed to high academic standards. As associate superintendent for instructional services, he helped developed the district’s first unified academic goal in 1998. As superintendent, he has worked to narrow the achievement gap while embracing a new goal – high academic growth and 95 percent of students meeting academic standards by 2008. McNeal was honored as the National Superintendent of the Year for 2004 by the American Association of School Administrators. He serves on numerous boards and professional organizations, including the Governor’s Education First Task Force, the Southern Regional Education Board and the Wake County Education Partnership Board of Directors. Mr. McNeal received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from North Carolina Central University.