Dr. June St. Clair Atkinson was elected State Superintendent in 2004 and is the first woman to be elected to the post. She has more than 35 years of experience in education and has been involved in instruction and curriculum development throughout her career.
Before serving as State Superintendent, June worked to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) as a chief consultant and director in the areas of business education, career and technical education, and instructional services.
As State Superintendent, June understands the importance for each child learning, school environments that encourage student success, modern and relevant education and graduating for each student.
June has travelled to all North Carolina school districts and has met with educators, parents, students, and citizens. She demonstrates the skills of listening about how to improve and act on many of the recommendations she hears.
She has received numerous awards over the years including recent accolades such as the Campion 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, June has held many professional offices and currently serves on the Board of Directors for National Council of Chief State School Officers, having served as past president of this non-partisan organization.
June grew up in rural Bedford County, Virginia, where she attended public schools. She received a B.S. in Business Education from Redford University, a M.S. in Vocation and Technical Education from Virginia Tech, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from North Carolina State University. After graduating from Redford , Dr. Atkinson taught high school in Roanoke, Virginia and in Charlotte.
June is married to Dr. William Gurley, a Cary, North Carolina orthodontist and former assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry. She lives in Raleigh and is a member of The United Methodist Church in Cary.