Mr. Gilbert Hermes
Gilbert Hermes was born on February 17, 1941, the youngest of eleven children born to Clem and Amelia Hermes. He was born on the family farm north of Lindsay, which he now owns and where he lives today.
At a very young age, Mr. Hermes was not too excited about going to school. One day he could not find his one and only pair of shoes when it was time to leave for school. After a family wide search, one of his sisters found the shoes hidden under the house. He pleaded with her to put them back because he was “not going” to school. Who could have ever imagined that Gilbert Hermes would spend his lifetime dedicated to education, serving that very school for 34 years?
Mr. Hermes earned his education degrees from North Texas State University in Denton, Texas now known as the University of North Texas.
He began his career in 1964 at Lindsay ISD as a 6th grade teacher. He went on to serve as a Head Football Coach, Social Studies teacher, Bus Driver, P.E. teacher, Driver’s Ed teacher, Elementary Principal, High School Principal, and lastly, as Superintendent. Mr. Hermes served as the LISD Superintendent from 1989 until his retirement in 1997.
As a teacher, coach and District leader, Mr. Hermes was a strong disciplinarian, honest, God fearing, dedicated to his students and a lifelong mentor to many. You did not have to be the smartest, or the fastest or the team MVP. As long as you tried your best, Mr. Hermes was proud of you and you knew it.
The many improvements in the school facilities, from the high school building to the athletic complex were largely built during Mr. Hermes's time with LISD. The success of the school during his time as a leader of the district is well-documented. However, if you asked him about it, he would probably turn red in the face and wave you away, insisting the he only played a small role.
If you want to know all the things Mr. Hermes has done for our community, well, good luck trying to find that out. Mr. Hermes has contributed an untold amount of financial and moral support to so many causes over the years that no one really knows how many of us have benefitted. As a young teacher and coach, Mr. Hermes bought uniforms and equipment with his own money for the athletic teams. Once Mr. Hermes bought football cleats for a high school boy who said he could not play because he did not have shoes. He took on new roles and responsibility with the school, often without extra pay. Those early deeds turned into a lifelong habit for Mr. Hermes. Today you can see Mr. Hermes driving around town sharing his shelled pecans with many residents or at football 2-a-days handing out donuts and drinks to the athletes. Even having a raffle for them; drawing their names from a jar for cash prizes or Whataburger gift certificates.
Mr. Hermes has also been a huge financial contributor to St. Peter's Church and its many ministries. For the most part, he has successfully hidden those donations behind the pseudonym "Anonymous". Again, it is unlikely that any one person, including Mr. Hermes, really knows the extent of his generosity. Suffice to say, Mr. Hermes has always been there when help was needed from planting flowers around the Guardian Angel statue, to praising kids after Mass for their good behavior.
Mr. Hermes still keeps up with many of his former students and he has encouraged and assisted them in so many ways over the years. In fact, 32 years after one football player graduated from Lindsay High School and moved 240 miles away, he received a letter from Coach Hermes to share with his own sons. Coach Hermes’s letter gave the boys the following advice: “do your best in everything you do, never give up, always try, never say, ‘I cannot do it’, and try to do something good for somebody else every day”.
There are so many of us former students now who benefited from Mr. Hermes’ example -- many who are parents and grandparents, many who have served as community leaders, many who have also adopted a servant’s attitude in our community-- it would be impossible to measure the impact that Gilbert Hermes has had on the Lindsay community. Maybe we cannot measure his impact, but we can recognize it by naming Gilbert Hermes a “Hometown Hero".