Helen K. Stevens, a teacher at Gilman School for 44 years who a colleague said brought out the best in each student, died Saturday of complications of a stroke at Union Memorial Hospital. The Roland Park Place resident was 82.
In recognition of her many years at Gilman, she was the first recipient in 1974 of the Edward T. Russell Memorial Faculty Chair, which yearly honors a distinguished faculty member.
"She was absolutely dedicated and devoted to the school and helping the young boys there," said Betsy McDonald, a friend and fellow member of the Gilman faculty for 24 years. "She was a friend to the children and held them accountable to high standards, which I think they respected her for."
Reg Tickner, a faculty member and administrator, remembered Miss Stevens as "outgoing and conscientious" and "as demanding of her students as she was of herself."
Miss Stevens began her career at the Roland Park school in 1935 as a second-grade teacher. During her tenure, she developed reading and study skill programs for the middle and upper schools, and a language arts, reading and study skills program for the lower school, where she was also director of admissions and directed the choral and instrumental music programs.
"Music was a high spot in her life," recalled her sister, Grace Wurster of Williamsport, Pa., her only survivor. "She played the trumpet and sang with the Peabody Chorus."
Miss Stevens was born in Philadelphia and reared in Lansdowne, Pa., where she attended Delaware County schools. After graduating from high school in 1929, she attended West Chester University and earned a bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1936. She received a master's degree in education from Johns Hopkins University in 1940.
The family will receive friends from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. today at Roland Park Place, 830 W. 40th St. A graveside service will be held at Arlington Cemetery in Drexel Hill, Pa., and there will be a memorial service at Gilman. Neither has been scheduled.
Memorial donations may be made to the Helen K. Stevens Memorial Fund, c/o Gilman School, 5407 Roland Ave., Baltimore 21210.