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Remembering Clay Stites, Head of School (1977-1992)

September 1, 2021

Stites Building ribbon cutting

It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of former Headmaster, Clay Stites, on August 27. Clay led Friends Academy with passion and dedication for 15 years from 1977 to 1992.

Clay's commitment to our school and seeing it continue to flourish has been inspiring. Many of the traditions which remain today are thanks to Clay. None of these is more central to Friends Academy than our practice of greeting students when they arrive on campus each morning. Although we’ve had to adjust the ritual hand shake due to the pandemic, we still honor the principle of looking one another in the eye and greeting one another with a hearty “Good morning.” This simple act is both symbolic and reinforces our commitment to honor and truly see each member of our community.

As we mourn Clay’s passing, we are heartened by considering his impact on our community and on the larger independent school world. Please keep Clara, Elizabeth, Page, and the entire Stites family in your thoughts.

Photo: Clay Stites, right, at the Stites Building ribbon cutting in 1992.