Herrmann’s Dedication Honored
St. Edward CCHS names Walk of Champions for coach, teacher, principal and superintendent
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 3, 2019
ELGIN—On a rainy Sept. 27, St. Edward Central Catholic High School honored Paul Herrmann who served at the school since 1975 until what may be his final retirement.
But you never know. Herrmann has, after all, retired before, twice, and was called back to lead the school both times — first after the unexpected death of Superintendent and Principal Father Edward Seisser in 2015, and again after the school superintendent left unexpectedly mid-year in 2018.
In his more than 40 years at the school, Herrmann has served as a coach, a teacher, a principal, and as superintendent. He is perhaps best known by most for his 30 years of teaching theology.
Father Andrew Deitz, spiritual director at St. Edward, noted Herrmann’s many school roles and additional ones such as Knight of Columbus and parishioner in his homily at Mass prior to the dedication of a much-needed new door and walkway at the school. 
In whatever capacity people know Paul Herrmann, Father Deitz said, “I guarantee they’ll tell you that you never walk away from Mr. Herrmann and not know that he cares about you ... and know that he would give you the shirt off his back.  That’s Paul Herrmann.
“And that’s why of all the people that have come through this building, we  have a door that’s used maybe more than any other door that’s now named forever for Paul Herr-mann, Walk of Champions.”
The priest encouraged the students to imitate Notre Dame football players in tapping the plaque set outside the door, which is located near lockers and frequently used by school athletes.
“When you walk in or out of this door, every day, double-tap this sign that says ‘Paul Herr-mann, Walk of Champions,’” Father Deitz said. 
“Don’t play like Paul Herr-mann, because we want to win,” he added to laughter, “but be like Paul Herrmann because you want to go to heaven. Because this man, for all the years that he was here, and every day of his life, he shows us what this (heavenly quest) looks like. This is who you want to be; this is who I want to be when I grow up.  
“All of us have flaws, we all know that. But Paul Herrman shows us every day what it looks like to try and get better.  And that’s why we honor him this day during Homecoming Week. We cap off this celebration by honoring this man.”
At the end of Mass, the somewhat-embarrassed honoree provided his own thanks to many people.
When he first arrived in 1975, Herrmann said, “I did not realize what a special place St. Edward is and the impact it would have on my life. You honor me today for my years of service ... but it is I who should be thanking all of you.”
He expressed appreciation to the school’s dedicated staff and administration, teachers who mentored him, parents and families who were “supportive, concerned and involved,” and also to the many people who responded to the school’s announcement of the dedication on social media.
“I was truly touched and overwhelmed by your kind words and well wishes,” he said.
Regarding St. Edward students, he said simply, “I only hope in my role as teacher I gave as much (to them) as they gave to me.”
Herrmann also expressed gratitude for the “most important people” in his life. He met his wife, Stacy, through his St. Edward connections, and they have two children.
“It has been my honor and privilege to spend my professional career at St. Edward High School, a place that’s filled with the very best staff, parents, alumni and students,” Herrmann concluded. A rousing, standing ovation followed, and later as he walked through the halls, several students called out their congratulations to him.
Naming the new Walk of Champions for Paul Herrmann was the idea of school business manager, Jan Schroeder, and diocesan Controller for Central Catholic High School Finances, Susan Murray. Michael Kagan, diocesan superintendent of schools, summarized Herrmann’s influence to their enthusiastic agreement.
“He’s a great servant leader,” Kagan said. “He’s a perfect example of that.”