The GLPIEF Announces 2023 GLSD Alumni of Distinction Honorees

The Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation is pleased to announce Barry and Linda Banker as the 2023 Alumni of Distinction Honorees.  Mr. & Mrs. Banker will be honored at the annual Loyal & True Dinner to be held on Thursday, March 16th at the Saint Vincent College Conference Center.  The Alumni of Distinction Award was established to acknowledge excellence among alumni of the Greater Latrobe School District. This award recognizes outstanding levels of professional achievements, service to the community and/or service to the Greater Latrobe School District.

Linda Carns Banker, Class of 1966, is a beloved retired educator with the Greater Latrobe School District. Linda graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and taught for 37 years at Baggaley Elementary School. Linda’s love of learning and the Greater Latrobe School District is infectious. Linda started her career as a first grade teacher and helped develop the District’s half-day kindergarten program.  Linda would go on to teach kindergarten for 34 years and taught generations of BES families   Linda served as a role model to her two daughters, Becki & Bethany, who both went on to become educators. Mrs. Becki Pellis is now the Assistant to the Superintendent for Elementary Education and Mrs. Bethany McNeil is a teacher at Latrobe Elementary School. Linda is a longtime member of the GLPIEF Development Committee and helped start the annual GLSD retiree holiday luncheon.  

Barron “Barry” Banker, Class of 1966, was a morning host and station manager at commercial radio stations,WKHB/WKFB/WKVE, serving the Greater Pittsburgh region. Barry is a graduate of Point Park University.  Barry Banker celebrated 45 years with the station in 2009 and then retired.  Barry remained active in broadcasting and still contributes to programming for a weekly public affairs show entitled “A Closer Look.” Many people in the community may know Barry as the Fire Chief for Youngstown Fire Station. Recently, Barry helped guide the merger of Whitney-Hostetter and Youngstown Fire Departments creating the Youngstown Whitney Volunteer Fire Department. Barry has been a volunteer firefighter for nearly 50 years and served as Assistant Chief in the 1980s.  He became the Fire Chief in 1990 and has held that position ever since.  Barry actively recruits and works with junior firefighters helping them gain valuable skills and give back to the community. Barry has dedicated countless hours to responding to calls, fundraising for department equipment and overall working to provide the very best service to the community. Barry is also a member of the Greater Latrobe School Authority. 

After retirement, Linda and Barry devoted much of their time to caring for their five grandchildren who are currently or will be Greater Latrobe graduates.  Barry and Linda are often at school events cheering on the Wildcats, taking their beloved granddog, Buzz, for a ride to Chick-Fil-A or visiting Mickey Mouse at Walt Disney World. GLPIEF President Maria Graziano-Bickerstaff shared,  “Barry and Linda have given so much back to the Greater Latrobe School Community and have done so with humility and we are thrilled to honor them at the Loyal & True Dinner.”   

Tickets to the Loyal & True Dinner are $50 and may be purchased on – search for Loyal & True.  The Class of 1973 will also be recognized in honor of their 50th reunion year and information can be found on the Class of 1973 Facebook page. All event proceeds benefit the GLPIEF Annual Fund.  

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