Faith Hermann headed the Maryland Writing Project implemented the program in schools.
Faith Hermann headed the Maryland Writing Project implemented the program in schools. (Assistant / HANDOUT)

Faith C. Hermann, former executive assistant to the superintendent of Baltimore County public schools who later became principal of Hereford Middle School, died Sept. 19 from cancer at Gilchrist Center Towson. The Relay resident was 70.

“Faith was the embodiment of the better angels of our business, and I’m going to miss her,” said Dr. Robert Y. Dubel of Glen Arm, the popular superintendent of Baltimore County public schools for 16 years before retiring in 1992.

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“Faith was a joyful, highly intelligent and highly ethical person who had a tremendous impact on thousands of children, teachers and students in Baltimore County,” Dr. Dubel said.

Nancy S. Grasmick, who was associate superintendent of Baltimore County public schools and later state superintendent of public schools from 1991 to 2011, was both a longtime colleague and friend.

“The thing I remember about Faith was what a dynamic person she was as a principal and in the Central Office. She was truly a leader and extremely influential,” said Dr. Grasmick, a Lutherville resident.

“Because of the enthusiasm she had for every job she held, people wanted to follow Faith. She was so capable, and deep in her heart she loved and was an advocate for children. She had high standards and wanted the very best for them.”

The former Faith Carisse Hill, the daughter of Edgar Allen Hall, a farmer and police officer, and his wife, Ruth Hickman Hall, a homemaker, was born and raised in Pocomoke City.

After graduating from Pocomoke City High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1971 in education from Towson University, and a master’s degree from Loyola University Maryland.

Mrs. Hermann began teaching English in 1971 at Johnnycake Junior High School and in 1978, was an original faculty member at Owings Mills Junior-Senior High School. Two years later, she was appointed chair of the English department.

Maryland School Superintendent David W. Hornbeck chose Mrs. Hermann in 1981 to head the Maryland Writing Project, and for the next year she traveled throughout the state implementing the program in schools.

“It will be one of her legacies,” Dr. Dubel said.

“Faith was very smart and had such expertise when it came to writing,” Dr. Gasmick said. “She was able to communicate with people and got them into thinking we’re all in this together.”

“She was a wonderful wordsmith and enjoyed teaching grammar,” Dr. Dubel said.

After she completed her stint in the state Department of Public Education, Mrs. Hermann returned in 1982 to Owings Mills Junior-Senior High School as English department chair.

“Her life was really devoted to the teaching of English and particularly teaching teachers,” Dr. Dubel said. “It was a joy to observe her teaching English classes. She made children enjoy learning grammar. She really was the quintessential master teacher.”

Mrs. Hermann then joined the faculty of Hereford Middle School and in 1984 was named English department chair. From 1986 to 1989 she worked as executive assistant to Dr. Dubel at Greenwood, Baltimore County public schools headquarters.

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“Faith made me better than I was. She was an outstanding troubleshooter and problem solver. She was very valuable to me,” Dr. Dubel said. “Also during this time, she updated our manual on policy and rules. The English program she developed for Baltimore County still lives today.”

In 1989, Mrs. Hermann left Greenwood when she was appointed principal of Catonsville Middle School, and five years later became principal of Hereford Middle School, a position she held until retiring in 2002.

“During her 31-year career, Faith was always a leader,” Dr. Dubel said.

Mrs. Hermann also managed summer curriculum workshops for the school system and after retiring taught future teachers at Towson University and Goucher College, Dr. Dubel said.

She enjoyed traveling.

Funeral services were held Thursday at the First Baptist Church in Pocomoke City.

She is survived by her husband of 43 years, William M. Hermann Jr., a retired Baltimore County public schools industrial arts teacher; her father, Edgar Allen Hall of Pocomoke City; a brother, John Hall of Suffolk, Virginia; two sisters, Sharon Dryden of Pocomoke City and Brenda Sarma of Schaumberg, Illinois; and numerous nieces and nephews.

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