History of Hubbard Woods School

  • Hubbard Woods School is one of three elementary schools (K - 4) in The Winnetka Public Schools District 36. All of The Winnetka Public Schools share the same philosophy of instruction which is developmental in nature and defined by the individual needs of children. The needs of each child change over time, thereby requiring a flexible response from the school setting. Hubbard Woods School has housed various age ranges of children. To explore Hubbard Woods School is to discover the many nooks and crannies that lend it warmth and charm as well as preserve its memories. Mann Park, with its council ring (named for Principal James Mann), is often used for gatherings. The drinking fountain in the kindergarten room was designed by the students in memory of Winifred Weedon, the kindergarten teacher from 1920-1956. The mobile in the library was commissioned from Joseph Burlini in recognition of Rosemary Beyer's years as principal. And there is the ever-present raccoon, elected as mascot by the students in 1976. Until 1915 the children in the northern part of Winnetka received their elementary education at Lakeside School, a two-story frame structure at the corner of Burr and Tower Roads. This school was also known as Miss Elliott's school, named after its only teacher. By 1912, despite the recent installation of electric lights and running water, Lakeside School was regarded as inadequate, and plans for a new school were drafted. Completed in 1915, the new school consisted of the auditorium and four classrooms and was known as Skokie School and housed kindergarten through grade 8 students. Its entrance faced south onto a courtyard. More than modern for its time, the school was designed to blend with its surroundings and to express the feeling that the school environment should be less severe. Each classroom had its own outside entrance. In 1918, two classrooms and rooms for manual training and domestic science were added and served children in grades K-6. Also, the north wing, consisting of the present entrance, four classrooms, an office, a teacher's room, and a kitchenette, was completed. In 1924 to avoid confusion with the newly erected Skokie Junior High School, the name was changed to Hubbard Woods School.

    Hubbard Woods was named after Gilbert Hubbard who arrived in Winnetka in 1871 after the Chicago fire. Mr. Hubbard was employed in the ship trading business. In 1925, the west corridor with five classrooms and a kindergarten room was added. This section included a basement, combination shop, and bicycle room, which children referred to as the "wheel house." In 1930, the south wing, including the gymnasium and the area beneath, three classrooms, and rooms for science and crafts, was completed. In 1958 there began a gradual shift to a K-grade 5 school, which was completed in 1963. During the transition period, some sixth grade students attended Hubbard Woods School, while some went on to Skokie. When Carleton Washburne School was completed, Hubbard Woods became a K-grade 4 school. In 1965 the entrance and north side of the building were extensively landscaped in honor of the school's 50th anniversary. In 1978, as the population declined, a school was closed, and K-grade 5 students were again placed in Hubbard Woods School. As well in 1978, new playground equipment was installed as the result of contributions of Hubbard Woods' parents and friends. In keeping with the original concept of blending aesthetically with the area, the equipment was constructed primarily of natural materials. In 1991, the former gymnasium was converted to a resource center/computer lab. A new gymnasium was added to the south side of the school. The next building project was completed in 1999 when the music room was built and several classrooms were renovated. Once again, the playground was completely refurbished during the summer of 1999 (room 24 expanded, rooms 10 and 11 reconfigured, and a bay window was added to room 10). One piece of equipment does remain from our original playground: the metal frame climber. The climber was created in the early 1920s by Carlton Washburne to give children a 3-D experience. In response to rising enrollments in all Winnetka schools, Hubbard Woods School has returned to serving K-grade 4 students, with The Skokie School housing students in grades 5 and 6 in August 2000. Due to the grade level reconfiguration, the mobile classroom was removed and the front office was renovated. WGST, our own Hubbard Woods television studio, was created in Janury 2002. Students from third and fourth grades now produce daily news shows throughout the school year! In May 2015, we filmed our 2000th episode for WGST. The outdoor sculpture on the northeast corner of our property was commissioned in 2000 by the PTO to celebrate the community spirit at Hubbard Woods School. The artist was Max Cora, a former Greeley student - all of his siblings attended Hubbard Woods! The sculpture was named by our students, "The Sky's the Limit." And there is the ever-present raccoon, elected as mascot by the students in 1976.

    Hubbard Woods has had nine principals:

    • Glenna Griffith (1916-1921)
    • Marion Carswell (1921-1939)
    • James Mann (1939-1961)
    • Rosemary Beyer (1961-1978)
    • William Meuer (1978-1983)
    • Richard Streedain 1983-1994)
    • John Eller(1994-1997)
    • Maureen Cheever (1997-2011)
    • Daniel Ryan (2011-2016)
    • Beth Carmody (Present)