AUBURN – Herman Lord, a beloved Edward Little High School math teacher who brought cartoons, computers and compassion into the classroom, died Sunday from complications from a pituitary gland tumor.
He was 68.
Lord began teaching math at Edward Little High School in the 1960s. An energetic young husband and father, he split his time between his students and his family. Weekdays, he taught. Nights and weekends, he built a house for his wife and son.
“He was always doing something. Good grief, I don’t know how he did it,” said his son, Michael Lord.
At Edward Little, Lord quickly became known as a friendly, creative teacher who cared about his students. He incorporated hand-drawn cartoons into his lessons to make them interesting. When his students couldn’t find rides, he drove them to school.
“Students would reserve their places in June,” said his wife, Cynthia Lord.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Lord became intrigued with computers. The machines were big and clunky, but Lord saw possibilities. He brought one of the first computers into the high school and wrote programs to track grades and student schedules. To fellow teachers, Lord was “brilliant” and “cutting-edge.”
Soon, he was teaching computer classes and heading computer services for the school system.
“Anything he tried, he was a master at,” said Edward Little Principal Jim Miller, who taught math at the school while Lord was department chairman.
Lord’s passion for education wasn’t limited to Edward Little. He also taught at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College and at Central Maine Community College in Auburn. He served for 22 years on the board of the Pine Tree Academy in Freeport, several of those as chairman.
But in 1998, after 35 years in education, Lord decided it was time to retire. He spent the last several years with family and indulging his love of carpentry.
In 2004, he was diagnosed with a pituitary gland tumor. The mass was benign, his wife said, but there were complications. He spent more than a year-and-a-half battling pneumonia and other problems. On Sunday, he died from those complications.
A service will be held at 2:30 p.m. today at Pine Street Cemetery in Auburn.