North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction

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Superintendent of Public Instruction of North Carolina
Mark Johnson (cropped).jpg
Mark Johnson

since January 1, 2017 (2017-01-01)
Member ofCouncil of State
SeatRaleigh, North Carolina
Term lengthFour years
Inaugural holderCalvin H. Wiley
FormationJanuary 1, 1853
(167 years ago)

The North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction is the elected head of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and oversees the public school systems of the state.

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.[1][2]

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.

Superintendents of Public Instruction[edit]

Kemp Plummer Battle
John Pool
Thomas F. Toon

The following list shows the Superintendents of Public Instruction for North Carolina and the years they served:[3][4]


  1. ^ History of State Board of Education, Chapter 1
  2. ^ History of State Board of Education, Chapter 2
  3. ^ Connor, R.D.D. (1913). A Manual of North Carolina (PDF). Raleigh: North Carolina Historical Commission. p. 443. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  4. ^ "The Legislative Manual and Political Register of the State of North Carolina". 1874. p. 443. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  5. ^ "Samuel Stanford Ashley". NCpedia.
  6. ^ Governor Tod R. Caldwell appointed Alexander McIver after Samuel S. Ashley resigned.
  7. ^ Religion, Race, and Reconstruction
  8. ^ 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).
  9. ^ Dictionary of North Carolina Biography
  10. ^ "John Catre Scarborough". NCpedia.
  11. ^ "Sidney Michael Finger". NCpedia.