School & District Management

Winner Declared

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — December 07, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

With a lead of a few thousand votes and the belated blessing of the North Carolina Board of Elections, June Atkinson is preparing to take office as the state’s new schools chief next month. But her opponent for the post, Bill Fletcher, still hopes to stop her.

Nearly a month after the Nov. 2 election, Mr. Fletcher has refused to concede and was continuing to fight the results last week. With the final count so close—a 6,500-vote difference out of 3.3 million cast—in an election beset with irregularities and mishaps, Mr. Fletcher, a Republican, has asked the state supreme court for a final decision on whether all the votes should count.

June Atkinson

“There have been numerous problems [with voting] in North Carolina this year,” Mr. Fletcher said in an interview after the elections board declared Ms. Atkinson, a Democrat, the winner for state superintend on Nov. 30. “All I want is an accurate count.”

As many as 10,000 voters in one county submitted provisional ballots in the wrong precinct, but were counted anyway. Mr. Fletcher would like some or all of those votes to be thrown out. Some 4,000 ballots in another county are missing.

Mr. Fletcher’s two previous requests to lower courts to dismiss the ballots in question were rejected, though the elections board did agree to hold a new election for the state commissioner of agriculture. The candidates in that race are separated by about 2,000 votes.

Meanwhile, Ms. Atkinson is moving forward as the presumed successor to Michael E. Ward, who stepped down from the post this past August after an eight-year stint. She’s been meeting with educators around the state, attending state board meetings, and participating in a legislative institute.

“I am relieved and grateful that the state board of elections has certified me as the winner, and I don’t think [Mr. Fletcher’s court action] will result in any changes,” the longtime administrator in the state department of public instruction said last week. “I’m ready to start work.”

Mr. Fletcher, a businessman and school board member in Wake County, has also been ready to step into the role. Shortly after the election, with the race too close to call, the two candidates shared the podium at several education meetings and events.

Ms. Atkinson, however, prefers to go solo, she said.

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Your Questions on the Science of Reading, Answered
Dive into the Science of Reading with K-12 leaders. Discover strategies, policy insights, and more in our webinar.
Content provided by Otus
Mathematics Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Breaking the Cycle: How Districts are Turning around Dismal Math Scores
Math myth: Students just aren't good at it? Join us & learn how districts are boosting math scores.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Opinion Teachers and Students Need Support. 5 Ways Administrators Can Help
In the simplest terms, administrators advise, be present by both listening carefully and being accessible electronically and by phone.
10 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion When Women Hold Each Other Back: A Call to Action for Female Principals
With so many barriers already facing women seeking administrative roles, we should not be dimming each other’s lights.
Crystal Thorpe
4 min read
A mean female leader with crossed arms stands in front of a group of people.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week via Canva
School & District Management Opinion Want a Leadership Edge? You Already Have What You Need
School leaders are faced daily with challenging situations. Here's how to prevent the tail from wagging the dog in responding.
Danny Bauer
4 min read
Screen Shot 2024 04 05 at 5.35.06 AM
Canva
School & District Management When Interventions Aim at Relationships, Academics and Attendance Improve
Connecting a student to adults—and peers—has been a missing link in early-warning systems.
4 min read
Image of a data dashboard.
Suppachok Nuthep/iStock/Getty