Maynard E. Keadle, a retired principal of Dulaney and Perry Hall high schools known for putting his students and faculty first, died of complications from diabetes Tuesday at Manor Care Ruxton. The Timonium resident was 84.
"It seemed that Maynard was principal at Dulaney High School forever. He was one of the strongest principals I ever worked with," said Robert Y. Dubel, the former Baltimore County superintendent of education. "He was principal for so many years and built Dulaney into one of the best schools in the U.S. The faculty loved him. He was a total principal. He was interested in academics and promoted the Advanced Placement program. He backed athletics and music, and was strong on building relationships in the community."
Dr. Keadle was born in Boonsboro near the Antietam Civil War battlefield. He was raised on a nearby farm, where he plowed fields and milked cows.
He left Boonsboro High School a few weeks short of his 1946 graduation after he asked his father's permission to join the Marine Corps. Washington County school authorities agreed that his father could receive his son's diploma while he was in basic training at Parris Island. He went into the Marine Air Corps and was stationed in Memphis, Tenn.
After his military service, he enrolled at what is now Towson University, where he met his wife, the former Claire Stearns, and received a degree in education. He later earned a doctorate of education at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Dr. Keadle joined the Baltimore County public schools in 1951 and was initially assigned to Stemmers Run Junior High School in Essex. When he was briefly assigned to school headquarters, he asked to return to a classroom job. He then became assistant principal at Golden Ring Junior High School and in 1960 was named principal there.
In 1963, he moved to Perry Hall High School and was principal when a new Perry Hall High opened.
"After his time at Perry Hall, he decided he would like to get his doctorate and he went to the University of Maryland to get that degree," said his sister, Patricia Anne Fleming of Cockeysville, who is a retired aide to former state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick. "He celebrated what was good with his teachers, and encouraged them and built their confidence. Then he said there might be a few areas to work on."
From 1971 until his retirement in 1989, he was principal at Dulaney High School.
Friends said he was an enthusiastic, caring principal who backed students and faculty members and became a champion of new ideas.
"There will always be a special place for Maynard in my heart. He was trusting person," said George McCeney, a retired Dulaney faculty member. He recalled a time when he and another teacher wanted to start a course called Science, History and Belief, but others were skeptical about its value.
"Now, I know for a fact that Maynard had no idea of the substance of the course, but what he did know for an absolute certainty was that it would be good for kids and that he had two faculty members that he could trust to make it work," said Mr. McCeney, who lives in Glencoe.
Mr. McCeney recalled that Dr. Keadle always moved close to the school where he was assigned and developed close ties to it.
"He loved being in a school," said Mr. McCeney. "A lot of his fellow administrators bemoaned that he really loved students. In education you don't run across too many administrators who do things for the kids the way he did. It's always budgets or scheduling. Maynard was a guy who put kids first. It was intuitive with him. He had a sixth sense."
Others said he never missed a sports game, debating team session or school musical event.
"Maynard Keadle put his heart and soul into Dulaney," said Carol Ann Leyh, his administrative assistant, who lives in Jarrettsville. "He loved the school and all its facets — academics, athletics, clubs, plays and concerts. He trusted the faculty to produce lifelong learners who appreciated education and excelled in it. He believed this school spirit molded students and faculty into the Dulaney family."
The current Dulaney principal, Lyn Whitlock, said, "He was instrumental in starting many of the traditions that make Dulaney great today."
Dr. Keadle was an avid flower gardener. He belonged to the Perry Hall Kiwanis Club and played golf.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Epiphany Episcopal Church, 2216 Pot Spring Road, where he was a member.
In addition to his sister, survivors include three sons, Russell F. Keadle of Cockeysville, Michael E. Keadle of Timonium and Patrick D. Keadle of Cockeysville; two daughters, Jane A. Wisniewski of Stewartstown, Pa., and Melissa Keadle Lenoe of San Francisco; and three grandchildren. His wife of nearly 51 years died in 2000.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun