Director of Strategic Initiatives and Communications
SETDA Honors Dr. June Atkinson, North Carolina’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction, with 2010 State Policy Maker of the Year Award
November 17, 2010 (Washington, D.C.) – Dr. June Atkinson, North Carolina’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction, was honored as the State Policy Maker of the Year by the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) at the 2010 Leadership Summit, “Innovation Through State Leadership,” for her outstanding vision for global education and exemplary leadership in the use of educational technology throughout North Carolina and nationally.
Dr. Atkinson’s vocal support of education reform and improvement supported by educational technology as evidenced by her public comments on her website and at the National Rural Educational Technology Conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Her triumphs in educational technology include her support of NC IMPACT Model Schools, an exemplary model of educational reform using technology. The IMPACT model has consistently shown significant gains in student achievement and other positive effects such as a reduced drop-out rate. Her leadership is further evident by North Carolina’s successful application for U. S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top funding and her active involvement in the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Dr. Atkinson recently announced North Carolina’s expanded partnership with Microsoft in their IT Academy Program: within the next year, all 628 North Carolina high schools will offer courses which lead to Microsoft certification for students and teachers. There are currently 9,000 Microsoft IT Academy Program members in more than 100 countries, and the North Carolina school system adoption of the Microsoft IT Academy Program is the largest in the world to date.
She strongly backs North Carolina’s initiative to provide speedy connectivity to the state’s 115 school districts so that all students have equal access to the Internet. Dr. Atkinson also champions the use of cloud computing for all public school systems across the state to centralize resources, offer the same benefits to all public school students, teachers and administrators and to conserve funds during extremely trying fiscal times.
Douglas Levin, Executive Director of SETDA, said, “Dr. Atkinson is a shining example of a technology-savvy state leader. She has demonstrated that strong collaboration skills coupled with a clear vision and knowledge of technology will have positive effects on students and educators.”
“Dr. Atkinson is an amazing advocate for technology within the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction as well as outside. The approximately 1.5 million students in North Carolina have clearly benefited from her leadership,” stated Neill Kimrey, Director of Instructional Technology.
About the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA): Founded in 2001, SETDA is the national member association that represents the interests of the educational technology leadership of state and territorial education agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. SETDA members work collectively and in public-private partnerships to ensure that meaningful technology innovations with broad potential for systemic improvements and cost-savings in teaching, learning and leadership are brought to scale. For more information, please visit www.setda.org.