June Hood Selected As Grand Marshal For Christmas Parade

Photo provided by John Hood
Share this:

MINT HILL, NC – The Town of Mint Hill is pleased to announce that June Simpson will serve as the Grand Marshal for this year’s Christmas Parade.

June Carolyn Simpson was born in what is now Mint Hill in 1934. Her ancestors arrived in Mecklenburg County in the 1740s and 1750s. She grew up in a large household made up of her single mother Mattie Simpson and five of Mattie’s brothers and sisters. June was the only child born to any of them. “I knew that they all wanted me to succeed and prosper and that my achievement was always important to them,” says Simpson.  “So I was always an overachiever, trying to please a lot of people.”

June in Israel
June in Israel


A member of the National Honor Society and the 4-H Honor Club as a teenager, Simpson became well-known across eastern Mecklenburg County for her awards and accolades.  During the summer and fall of 1956, June traveled to Israel with the International Farm Youth Exchange program after graduating from Women’s College in Greensboro (now UNCG) where she received a B.S. degree in home economics.  She left Israel for home just five days before the start of the second Arab-Israeli War.

June’s first job stateside was as an assistant home agent of the North Carolina Extension Service in Caldwell County.  It was there that she met Harold Hood, whom she married in 1958.  The pair moved back to Mecklenburg County, where June took a job at the gas company and was a member of the Charlotte Junior Women’s Club, secretary of the North Carolina Home Economics Association in 1960, and chairman of North Carolina Home Economists in Business in 1961. 

In 1961, June decided to pursue a longstanding dream to return to the classroom as a teacher.  Art and music had just been added to the newly merged Charlotte City and Mecklenburg County schools, and June was hired as a traveling elementary school teacher tasked with making sure all students got some exposure to the arts.  June taught at nearby Bain Elementary for many years, along with other schools in the eastern and southern parts of the county.

June teaching
June teaching

One of June’s favorite things about teaching art was that she enjoyed a tremendous amount of freedom to design and implement her lesson plans. Another was that she got to witness immediate results. “It was interesting to see the students produce creative works,” she said, though she added that her approach wasn’t just to “encourage young people to express themselves.” She believes strongly that visual art is an academic subject and should treated as such, with a specified curriculum and a sequence of steps to teaching it to children. She made sure they learned the basics, such as perspective and contrast, and then let them “learn by doing,” as the 4-H program puts it.

In addition to her teaching career, June Simpson Hood has been deeply involved in the Mint Hill community. She ran the Sunday School at Wilson Grove Baptist Church, where she coached the Bible-verse team to several local championships. She was a member the local Home Demonstration Club and often led it. She served on the board of what was then the East Mecklenburg YMCA and served for several years on the Mint Hill Board of Adjustment, which hears zoning appeals and requests for zoning variances. June and Harold Hood (who passed away in 2016) were blessed with five children and seven grandchildren.

June was thrilled to be chosen as the Grand Marshal for this year’s Christmas parade in the Town that she has always called home.  ““It’s mind boggling — the last thing I would have ever thought might happen,” June said. “It is a great honor, of course, but also a surprise.”

Share this: