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New Trier H.S. political giving goes 98 percent to Democrats


By North Cook News | Feb 8, 2017


A North Cook News analysis of political donations by New Trier High School District 203 employees found 131 contributions to Democrats and three to Republicans.

All told, New Trier employees have given $49,287 to federal campaign committees since Oct. 1999, according to the Federal Election Commission -- 97.5 percent ($48,037) to Democrats and 2.5 percent ($1,250) to Republicans.

The largest givers: now-retired history teacher Larry Grote ($29,900), school psychologist Dianne Stone ($4,250), and District Superintendent Linda Yonke ($3,200), all gave to Democrats.

Yonke is under fire for orchestrating a mandatory all-school seminar to teach New Trier students that they should have “white guilt.” It is led by speakers who advocate leftist policies, including moving to a socialist system and slavery reparations.

Parents critical of Yonke have asked her to politically balance the seminar, but she has refused.

Her political donations all went to the campaign committees of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Grote, who retired in 2012, was lauded by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a New Trier graduate, for instilling in him a “love of history.”

As Emanuel’s teacher and soccer coach, Grote was also interviewed by author Naftali Bendavid for his book, The Thumpin’: How Rahm Emanuel and the Democrats Learned to Be Ruthless and Ended the Republican Revolution.

“He wasn’t one of our top players,” Grote said. “So when he got in, he took advantage of it by playing as aggressively as possible.”

Other donors include school finance director Chris Johnson and Jay Rosenberg, an English teacher and formerly the New Trier Teacher’s Union President whose school salary is $141,280/$169,536 annualized).

Total Political Giving by New Trier H.S. Employees to Democrats

$11,350Democratic National Committee (DNC) 
$10,350Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) 
$8,950Obama for America 
$8,475Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committees (DSCC) 
$2,250John Kerry for President 
$2,100John Justin Pavich for U.S. Congress (11th - Illinois)
$1,679Hillary Clinton for America 
$500Lee Goodman for U.S. Congress (10th - Illinois)
$450Dan Seals for U.S.Congress
$404Hillary (Clinton) Victory Fund 
$250Hopefund, Inc. (Barack Obama) 
$250Bill Bradley for President 
$250Paul Bryar for U.S. Congress (5th - Illinois) 
$200Al Franken for U.S. Senate (Minnesota)
$200Jean A. Carnahan Political Action Committee (Missouri) 
$200March for Progress, Inc. (U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy D-MA) 
Total Political Giving by New Trier H.S. Employees to Republicans

$1,000David Young for Iowa (U.S. Congress) 
$250Bob Dold for Congress (10th - Illinois) 
Individual New Trier H.S. Employee Giving to Democrats

EmployeePosition Amount 
Larry GroteTeacher $29,900 
Dianne S. StonePsychologist $4,250 
Linda YonkeSuperintendent $3,200 
Susan RodgersSecretary $2,100 
Donna SpencerTeacher $2,000 
James FosterSoftware Specialist $1,500 
Jay S. RosenbergTeacher $1,450 
Chris JohnsonAdministrator $550 
Judith GresselTeacher $500 
Margaret SteskoTeacher $432.50 
Alice BasomsLibrarian $355 
Ariell BachmanTeacher $250 
Jim HuttenTeacher $250 
Kurt WeilerTeacher $250 
Jean WilsonSchool Nurse $250 
Todd BowenTeacher $200 
Parker J. Hall, IVTeacher $200 
Kathy PilatTeacher $200 

Individual New Trier H.S. Employee Giving to Republicans

EmployeePosition Amount 
Pater TragosAdministrator $1,000 
Theresa McNamaraSubstitute Teacher $250 
Source: Federal Election Commission; Dates queried 9/20/1999 through 12/1/2016; Includes all donors who reported New Trier H.S. as their employer. Some employees may be retired.

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