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June Atkinson heads the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, an agency which she served for nearly 28 years (1976-2004) as a chief consultant and director in the areas of business education, career and technical education, and instructional services.
Dr. Atkinson grew up in rural Bedford County, Virginia, where she attended public schools and graduated from Staunton River High School in Moneta, Virginia. She received a B.S. in business education from Radford University in 1969, an M.S. in vocational and technical education from Virginia Tech in 1974, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from North Carolina State University in 1996. After graduating from Radford, Dr. Atkinson taught high school in Roanoke, Virginia, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Atkinson is the first woman elected to the post of state superintendent, which also is a member of the Council of State.