Library renamed for former superintendent

Board unanimously votes to name library to honor Linda Yonke


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Former superintendent Linda Yonke with her family and friends at the dedication of the Linda Yonke Library and Commons on April 21

On Friday, April 21, the Winnetka campus library was officially named after former superintendent Linda Yonke. The ceremony took place in the library commons, where Yonke helped unveil the new name “Linda Yonke Library” surrounded by former colleagues, family, and friends. 

The board voted unanimously to name the library after Yonke due to the work she did for the school and her love of books. Current superintendent Paul Sally said that Yonke helped develop the curriculum for social emotional learning and helped create support systems for both students and staff. 

 Yonke held the top spot for 11 years, rising to the position of superintendent in 2006 after serving as assistant superintendent for two under Henry “Hank” Bangser. She retired in 2017.

 One of the most influential accomplishments of Yonke’s time at New Trier was the 2017 renovation. Yonke was devoted to making New Trier an effective learning space for students, and a comfortable work environment for staff. 

“It is particularly innovative for a school to have a library next to a library commons then the cafeteria, and that is one of the things she[Yonke] was a part of making” said Paul Sally

 Beyond the environment changes Yonke made on the Winnetka Campus, she also was an effective leader and worked hard to make the relationships between staff strong. Principal Denise Dubravec calls Yonke an inspiring leader and credits her for building a strong community within the administration.

“Part of community for me is community within the administrative team, we don’t all think alike, but she has goals and expectations for what she wants that team dynamic to be. You always knew that there was a bar set and that she was right behind us as a team,” said Dubravec.

When Yonke took over as Superintendent, she said she was afraid of making the school less successful. However she turned out to be an influential leader. In 2017, she was awarded Educator of the Year by the Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce for her work at New Trier. Yonke is proud of New Trier and the opportunities it offers its students. 

 “We made a lot of curriculum initiatives, we did lots of staffing for leadership, and we found lots of supports for students,” said Yonke.