June St. Clair Atkinson is the first woman elected state superintendent of the Public Schools in North Carolina and has served in this position since August 2005. She retired in 2017.
In leading the Department of Public Instruction, Atkinson is directing the Accountability and Curriculum Reform Effort to revitalize the state’s curriculum and accountability programs and is focused on ensuring students have the opportunity to learn technical skills that are important in global economy.
As state superintendent, Atkinson oversees almost 1.5 million students in over 2,500 public schools. She has more than 35 years of experience in education. During her career, she has served as a chief consultant and director in the areas of business education, career and technical education, and instructional services within the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. A former business education teacher, Atkinson has been involved in instruction and curriculum development throughout her career.
Her recent accolades include the Champion of Children Award from the North Carolina Association of School Administrators, the State Policy Maker of the Year Award from the National Association for State Educational Technology Directors, and North Carolina Association of Educators Inclusive Leadership Award. She currently serves on the board of directors for the National Council of Chief State School Officers.
Atkinson received a bachelor’s degree in Business Education from Radford University, a master’s degree in Vocational and Technical Education from Virginia Tech, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from North Carolina State University. She is also a 1984-85 North Carolina Education Policy Fellowship Program alumna.