Backed by more than 40 years of professional experience in elementary education, Yvonne A. Johnson stumbled upon the profession, but has developed a fond love for teaching since she began in 1951. She graduated with a Bachelor of Education from Northern Illinois State Teachers College, now called Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb in 1951. That same year, Ms. Johnson began her first teaching job at Love Rural School in DeKalb County, where she remained until 1953. Following her departure, she commenced teaching at West Elementary School in Sycamore, Illinois.
In 1960, Ms. Johnson attended school once more, studying education at Northern Illinois University, from which she attained a Master of Science. She was likewise bestowed with an honorary PhD from the Sycamore Community Unit School District in 2008. Ms. Johnson’s most recent vocation was as a coordinator for the Media Center at West Elementary School.
With her many years of experience, Ms. Johnson has been recognized for her dedication and love for teaching. She was the recipient of the Clifford Danielson Outstanding Sycamore Citizen Award in 2006, and was named Outstanding Agricultural Teacher in the Classroom by the DeKalb County Farm Bureau in 1993. The State of Illinois recognized her as the Governor’s Master Teacher in 1984, and she is also a distinguished alumnus of Northern Illinois University. The mentors who have motivated and inspired Ms. Johnson were various principals of schools, such Burdette Peterson and Mary Currie, as well as several superintendents including Dr. Muns, Dr. Robert Hammon and Don Rich.
Of her many achievements in teaching, Ms. Johnson was most proud to serve on the Sycamore Public Library Board as president from 1984 to 1998. Today, the board restored part of the library and built an additional building to the library for $3 million. She also served as president of the board of the Midwest Museum of Natural History in Sycamore from 2006 to 2009 and started the Renaissance Scholarship in 2010, as well as the founder of the DeKalb County Excellence in Education Award in 1999. Ms. Johnson is a member of the National Education Association, the National Science Teachers Association, the Illinois Science Teachers Association, the Illinois Education Association, the Sycamore Education Foundation and the Council for Elementary Science International. Sought after for her scholarly opinion, she is a frequent contributor of articles to professional publications.
In light of her achievements, Ms. Johnson was selected for inclusion in the 25th edition of Who’s Who in the Midwest and several editions of Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Education. She currently has a college science wing named after her and an Australian area with Brookfield Zoo Encounters named after her since 2014. Enjoying gardening and making crafts in her spare time, Ms. Johnson is the proud owner of two cats, Yogi and Weugi.