South Students Remember Ms. Johnson

Johnson will surely be missed at Glenbard South. Source: Barber Jc Photography (John C. Hall Jr.) Website:

Sana Muneer, Editor in Chief

On August 31, students gathered in the Glenbard South commons to memorialize Mrs. Tinesha Johnson-Gilbert, South’s secretary who passed away on August 30. 

Johnson worked at South for the past three years as an attendance clerk, and assisted with many athletic events as well. 

Nia Ellis, a senior, was close with Johnson. Ellis said when she walked into attendance each morning, Johnson would make sure she felt at home. “She even wrote down when my birthday was so she could give me a gift,” Ellis recalled.

Ellis, a pass runner for the attendance office, said that Johnson was very loved. She added, “[Johnson] had such a good spirit every time we talked and had a very familiar family vibe. She always made me feel so comfortable and was nonjudgmental.”

Johnson had a special bond with the pass runners. She was said to have kept a special ‘mama’s eye’ on them and kept them on track with their grades. 

Mrs. Pyle said, “Tinesha loved our students. If a student needed a motherly tone, she would voice that. If a student needed extra love, she let them know that as well.”

Nurse Barb remembered how Johnson’s 2022 seniors, pass runners, honored her by surprising her with a gift basket and cards. Even during their graduation, many of them approached her for selfies and hugs. 

Sophomore Leilani Benson also connected with Johnson. Calling Johnson her ‘school aunt’, Benson remarked, “She cared for me like I was her niece.” Benson also recalled  Johnson’s incredible singing ability. “You just had to stop and listen,” she remembered wistfully. 

Julie Fonda, another South teacher, referenced Johnson’s beautiful voice as well. “My favorite memory [of her] was when I had her sing the national anthem at a girls basketball game. Her voice was heavenly and the passion she sang with was apparent,” Fonda gushed.

Johnson’s service was held on Saturday, September 10 at Freedom Baptist Church. 

Glenbard South principal Jessica Santee spoke at Johnson’s funeral service and shared kind words on behalf of other South faculty. 

Tinesha truly had a warm way to bring people together and making people smile. She was always full of spirit and spunk. I think she made me smile and laugh every single time that we interacted. She was supportive and encouraging to our students and to us,” Santee said. 

South students who wish to pay their respects to Mrs. Tinesha Johnson-Gilbert can sign the memorial banner located in the commons.