Edward Goldsmith, high school principal

August 21, 1998|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Edward L. Goldsmith, an educator in Baltimore City schools for 40 years and the first principal at Northwestern High School, died Monday of a heart attack at his Mount Washington home, where he had lived since 1950.

Dr. Goldsmith, 81, was known as a gentle but stern educator during a career in which he worked at four schools and in the school system's curriculum development office.

"He was a good teacher because of his interest in youths and the knowledge that their education was the stepping stones to the future," said his daughter, Anne Sterlock of Perry Hall.

Dr. Goldsmith was named principal of Northwestern High in 1966, the year the school opened. On the first day of classes at the Park Heights Avenue school, workers scurried to make final repairs as more than 1,400 students filed in. Dr. Goldsmith remained calm.

"We'll manage," Dr. Goldsmith said that day. "We'll do the best we can."

A Baltimore native, Dr. Goldsmith graduated from City College in 1933 and received a bachelor's degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 1937. He earned a master's degree from the Teachers College of Columbia University in 1939 and a doctorate from the university in 1951.

He served in the Army during World War II, and was stationed in the Philippines. In 1944, while in the Army, he married Minnie Bach.

His educational career began in the late 1930s when he taught English at City College and later at the former Garrison Junior High School.

He was vice principal at the former Pimlico Junior High School from 1957 until he became principal at Northwestern in 1966. He retired in 1979.

Randall Krug, one of Dr. Goldsmith's former students at Northwestern High, said despite Dr. Goldsmith's usually calm demeanor, students knew when he meant business.

"He could joke and laugh with you, but you always knew -- and he made it a point for you to know -- that school was about the business of learning," Mr. Krug said.

Dr. Goldsmith and his wife were avid travelers who visited all 50 states and Europe.

He was a member of the Hopkins Club, the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, Phi Delta Kappa and the Maryland Retired Teachers Association. During his career, he also served on evaluation teams for Middle States Accreditation Association.

Services were held yesterday.

In addition to his wife and daughter, he is survived by three granddaughters.

Donations can be made to the American Parkinson's Disease Association, 1250 Hylan Blvd., Suite 4B, Staten Island, N.Y. 10305.

Pub Date: 8/21/98

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