Distinguished Alumni: June Atkinson
June St. Clair Atkinson was the first woman elected State Superintendent of the Public Schools of North Carolina and held the position from 2005-2016.
In November 2014, Dr. Atkinson was named President of the Council of Chief State School Officers.
As a former State Superintendent, Dr. Atkinson understands the importance of improving teaching and learning, creating school environments that encourage student success, keeping education modern and relevant, and graduating every student career and college ready.
In leading the Department of Public Instruction, Dr. Atkinson directed the groundbreaking Accountability and Curriculum Reform Effort (ACRE) initiative to revitalize the state’s curriculum and accountability programs. North Carolina’s landmark Race to the Top Grant supported this work in addition to several other key reform initiatives such as transforming low-performing schools. Dr. Atkinson also is focused on ensuring students have the opportunity to learn the technical skills that are important in today’s global economy. Thanks to partnerships with numerous corporations, North Carolina is able to advance the skills of both teachers and students, as well as transform learning, and ultimately student achievement.
As State Superintendent, Dr. 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 NCDPI. A former business education teacher, Dr. Atkinson has been involved in instruction and curriculum development throughout her career.
She has received numerous awards over the years including recent accolades such as 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. In addition, Dr. Atkinson has held many professional offices and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Council of Chief State School Officers.
Dr. 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.
“NC State’s College of Education has produced creative, inspiring and talented educators who are now leading classrooms, school and even school districts all across North Carolina. Every day, these graduates are strengthening our state’s system of public education and helping more students reach their full potential and achieve their dreams.”
~ Dr. June Atkinson, State Superintendent of the Public Schools of North Carolina