Hermione Elaine Wharton, principal

June 10, 1991

Hermione Elaine Wharton, a lifelong resident of Baltimore who was principal of four city public schools, died in her sleep Friday at Keswick. She was 91.

Services for Miss Wharton, will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Katherine's Episcopal Church, Presstman and Division streets.

Miss Wharton taught English and other subjects in Baltimore's schools for more than 25 years before becoming an administrator.

At her retirement in 1963, she said that her "happiest days were in the classroom with the children. A principal must be all things to all people, but a teacher can work closely with students to the single end of their benefit."

Born Oct. 24, 1899, Miss Wharton came from a family of teachers. Her mother, father and three sisters all taught in the city schools, and her father, Heber Wharton, was the first black principal of a public school in Baltimore.

She began teaching in 1919.

In 1947, she became special assistant at Booker T. Washington Junior High School. In 1948, she became the principal of Douglass High School and was later principal at Harvey Johnson Junior High School and Cherry Hill Junior High School.

Her last assignment was as the first principal of the William H. Lemmel Junior High School at 2801 Dukeland St. when it opened in February 1959.

Miss Wharton told The Sun in 1963 that she believed in training teachers in content rather than technique. "If you have content, method and technique will come," she maintained. "The children must feel that you know what you are teaching."

She was a board member of the Woodbourne Home for Boys and the Baltimore Organization of Social Welfare, and was a member of the Women's Association of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Opera Guild, the YWCA and

the Church Mission of Help.

She also was a member of the National Urban League, the League of Women Voters, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, professional organizations in education, and the alumni associations of Morgan State DTC University, Coppin State College and New York University.

Miss Wharton was a charter member of St. Katherine's Episcopal Church, where she was baptized and confirmed. She had been a choir member for 30 years, chairwoman of the Harvest Home Suppers, president of Episcopal Church Women and a board member of the Bishop's Guild.

Survivors include three cousins, Hermione Reckling Harden of Baltimore, Elaine Weatherby of Cambridge and Marie Owens of Newton, Mass.; and two godchildren, Lynn Carpenter Coleman of Columbia and Ann Elizabeth Giardina of Catonsville.

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