Foran High tennis courts to be named in honor of late Milford educator

Photo of Brian Gioiele
Richard Herman

Richard Herman

Contributed

MILFORD — Foran High School’s tennis courts will be named in honor of the late Richard Herman, a longtime local educator and avid tennis player.

The Board of Education last year voted to rename the courts in memory of Herman, who spent more than 30 years in the Milford school system — from teacher to principal, to associate superintendent to his post as the first principal at Foran High.

“Richard Herman realized that providing top-notch athletic facilities instills pride for the community, but most of all, helps to develop the ‘whole student’ through athletics and other extracurricular activities,” said James Richetelli, Milford Public Schools chief operations officer.

“Naming the tennis courts at Foran in his memory is a fitting tribute to his vision,” added Richetelli.

The formal naming of the Richard A. Herman Memorial Tennis Courts will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the tennis courts off French Drive. Parking will be tight, so it is recommended people arrive early.

“Richard Herman led a life of public service dedicated to the children of Milford,” said Board of Education Chair Susan Glennon. “He played a significant role in the planning and building of Joseph A. Foran High School and served as its first principal. It was his love of tennis that led to the development of the sport at the school. The Board was happy to approve the naming of the courts in his honor.”

Several dignitaries will be on hand for the event, including Mayor Benjamin Blake, Board of Education and Milford Public Schools officials, and several family members. The program will include remarks, an unveiling of the new tennis court sign, and a “first volley” between a member of the Herman family and a member of the Foran High School girls tennis team.

“Mr. Herman’s two mentors as an educator were former Milford Public Schools Superintendents Joseph Foran and Herbert French, so it is truly fitting for his name to be on the tennis courts and forever associated with them at the Foran courts on French Drive,” said Kathy Bonetti, Milford Public Schools communications coordinator.

Herman, an avid tennis player into his 90s, died in 2019 at the age of 99.

Herman spent more than three decades in Milford schools. He started as a history teacher at Milford High School, and then went on to be its vice principal and then its principal. Eventually he became Milford's associate superintendent of secondary education, overseeing both Milford and Jonathan Law high schools.

When the decision was made to build the Joseph A. Foran High School, Herman was the administrator put in charge of that project. Bonetti said he oversaw the design, planning and construction of Foran from start to finish.

“It was common to see him at the building site wearing his hard hat, consulting with architects and directing the contractors,” Bonetti said. “Mr. Herman was instrumental in ensuring that the school would have tennis courts on the premises.”

After the school was built, Herman served as Foran High School’s first principal filling in until a permanent principal was selected.

Prior to moving to Milford to raise his family and start his career, Herman served in the U.S. Army for six years. During World War II he fought as a lieutenant in Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army, eventually earning the rank of captain.

After his retirement from Milford Public Schools, Herman established scholarships at Joseph A. Foran and Jonathan Law high schools that are awarded annually to a graduating senior at both schools. The scholarship in his name continues today.

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