Dr. June St. Clair Atkinson (NC EPFP) was the first woman elected state superintendent of public schools in North Carolina and served in this position from 2005 to 2016. She also served as the president of the Council of Chief State School Officers.
In leading the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), Atkinson directed efforts to move North Carolina’s high school graduation rate from 68 percent to an all-time high of 86 percent. She also led the effort to develop comprehensive instructional technology system, HomeBase, for student, educator, and parent support.
As state superintendent, Atkinson oversaw almost 1.5 million students in over 2,500 public schools. 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 NCDPI. A former business education teacher, Atkinson has been involved in instruction and curriculum development throughout her career.
Her 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 the North Carolina Association of Educators Inclusive Leadership Award. She has received recognition for her contributions to education from East Carolina University, North Carolina State University, and University of North Carolina at Wilmington, as well as many other organizations..
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 also has an honorary doctorate from Campbell University.