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In Memoriam: Peter Esty, Former Head of Packer

Peter Esty, Packer’s seventh Head of School, passed away peacefully on November 15, 2020 in Danvers, Mass. He was 83 years old.

Peter served as Head of School from 1982 to 1989, helping guide Packer at a pivotal moment in time. Peter was cherished for his genuine warmth, his compassion, and his enthusiasm for the people around him. Building relationships with students, teachers, families, and other schools was essential to his work.

In a recent letter from current Head of School Dr. Jen Weyburn, we shared a few quotes from our community. If you would like to submit a memory for publication on our website or in The Packer Magazine, please email

“[Peter was a person of] perpetual optimism and boundless energy. He wanted the best for everyone around him.” 
– Daniel Feigin ’88, Assistant Head of School and Director of Upper School at Trevor Day School

“[Peter was] exactly the right person at the right time. He transformed the school as much by sheer force of optimism and good-natured spirit as through new programming, of which there was also plenty, He made us aware that Packer could have a terrific future and a very unique independent school identity.”
Former Art Teacher Ken Rush   

“He possessed that wonderful ability of making [you] feel that you and your ideas were important and worthy of care and thought.”
– Cindy Copland, Lower School Teacher

“Peter had a huge heart and always dealt with issues with compassion and common sense. He had a great smile that would light up a room and a firm handshake that would let you know that you did a good job. He was just a wonderful human being.” – Rich Domanico, Physical Education Teacher and Coach

“I can't think of anyone who embodied the Packer spirit more than Peter. Peter made an immediate impact with his kindness, compassion, and generosity. He spoke and acted from the heart.”
– George Boutis, Physical Education Teacher and Coach

Read Peter’s obituary from the The San Francisco Chronicle. If you wish to contact the Esty family, please email Peter’s daughter Leila Esty Poutiatine ’87 at

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