North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction
The Superintendent is currently an elected member of the North Carolina Council of State, chosen in a partisan election every four years. Created as an appointed office, called the "General Superintendent of Common Schools" in 1852, the office was abolished at the end of the Civil War, then reestablished as an elected office under the North Carolina Constitution of 1868.
The Superintendent of Public Instruction also serves as a member of the North Carolina State Board of Education, the body which holds most of the authority over elementary and secondary education in the state.
The current Superintendent of Public Instruction is Mark Johnson.
Superintendents of Public Instruction
- Calvin H. Wiley, 1853–1866
- (office abolished), 1866–1868
- Samuel S. Ashley, 1868–1871 (Republican)
- Alexander McIver, 1871–1873
- Kemp P. Battle, 1873 
- Alexander McIver, 1873–1875
- Stephen D. Pool, 1875–1876 (Conservative/Democratic)
- John Pool, 1876–1877 (Republican)
- John C. Scarborough, 1877–1885 (Democratic)
- Sidney M. Finger, 1885–1893 (Democratic)
- John C. Scarborough, 1893–1897 (Democratic)
- Charles H. Mebane, 1897–1901 (Republican)
- Thomas F. Toon, 1901–1902 (Democratic)
- James Y. Joyner, 1902–1919 (Democratic)
- Eugene C. Brooks, 1919–1923 (Democratic)
- Arch T. Allen, 1923–1934 (Democratic)
- Clyde A. Erwin, 1934–1952 (Democratic)
- Charles F. Carroll, 1952–1969 (Democratic)
- A. Craig Phillips, 1969–1989 (Democratic)
- Bob Etheridge, 1989–1996 (Democratic)
- Michael E. Ward, 1997–2004 (Democratic)
- Patricia N. Willoughby, 2004–2005 (interim)
- June Atkinson, 2005–2016 (Democratic)
- Mark Johnson, 2017-present (Republican)
- History of State Board of Education, Chapter 1
- History of State Board of Education, Chapter 2
- NCpedia: Ashley, Samuel Stanford
- Governor Tod R. Caldwell appointed Alexander McIver after Samuel S. Ashley resigned.
- Rev. James Reid (1795-1872) was elected as Superintendent in the state general election of August 1872, but never took office due to his death in November of that year, as reported in the New York Times. Despite the fact that Alexander McIver had not vacated his office, Gov. Caldwell appointed Kemp P. Battle Superintendent upon Reid's death. Battle took the oath of office on January 15, 1873. McIver sued, saying that there has been no vacancy in his office, because Reid had never filled it. The North Carolina Supreme Court, in Battle v. McIver, found in favor of McIver, saying he was entitled to remain in office until the people could fill the position in the next general election (1874).
- Dictionary of North Carolina Biography
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