June St. Clair Atkinson (born August 19, 1948) was elected North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction on November 3, 2004, in a race that was decided by the North Carolina General Assembly on August 23, 2005. She was re-elected in 2008 and 2012. As State Superintendent, Atkinson organized and managed the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI), and was secretary and Chief Administrative Officer of the North Carolina State Board of Education. She was also an ex officio member of the North Carolina Council of State. Atkinson was narrowly defeated in her bid for a fourth term by political newcomer Mark Johnson, losing the 2016 general election in North Carolina by about 1.2 percent, and left office on January 1, 2017. Atkinson was the longest-serving state superintendent in the country when she left office and she was also the first woman to be elected to that post in the State of North Carolina.
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