About Us
Since 1839: A Brief History of EHS

Heads of School

In 1839, Episcopal High School opened its gates with 35 students and William Nelson Pendleton as its Principal. In July 2016, Charles M. Stillwell became the 12th Head of School in Episcopal's then 177-year history. Though the title has changed over the years, from Principal to Headmaster to Head of School, the impressive tenure and accomplishments of these 12 leaders propels The High School as it approaches its third century.

List of 12 news stories.

  • William Nelson Pendleton, 1839-44

    1839-44: William Nelson Pendleton

    "Having in large measure that enthusiasm for imparting knowledge which is the most essential attribute for a successful teacher, his first effort was to gain the attention of and excite the subject before him." - Susan Pendleton
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  • Edwin Augustus Dalrymple, 1845-52

    1845-52: Edwin Augustus Dalrymple

    "Education of the mind, however, and the formation of business habits, are by no means the sole or most important aim of the School. Whilst these receive constant and proper attention, it is at all times, borne in mind that the morals, the heart, the affections, and the manners of the students are not, by any means, to be neglected." - Edwin Dalrymple, 1849 Episcopal High School Catalogue
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  • John Peyton McGuire, 1852-61

    1852-61: John Peyton McGuire

    "To the average boy, the principal of a school embodies sternness and repression, and is the task master who exacts the performance of burdensome duties, a man who has no sympathy with the difficulties and temptations of boys. After I knew Mr. McGuire, I came to understand that he was a man who had once been a boy himself and sympathized with the trials and tribulations of boys." - Joseph Bryan, Class of 1861
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  • 1866-70: William Fowler Gardner 1857

    1866-70: William Fowler Gardner 1857

    "Mr. Gardner took The High School in the morning of a new day after a dark night of tragic warfare, and in spite of many discouragements and scant resources, he did what God is forever doing, beginning again, getting new mornings out of old nights. Think of the conditions when that old School was reborn. In this School, God began all over again. He is still at it in individuals and institutions of good learning." - Jacob Brittingham, Class of 1872
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  • 1870-1913: Launcelot Minor Blackford

    1870-1913: Launcelot Minor Blackford

    "... by precept and example, taught his pupils that cleverness without goodness is not to be desired; that material prosperity is not what makes a man truly rich; that the smallest man in any community is the most selfish man; and that character, based on Christian ideals, is the greatest asset any man can possess …" - 1913 “Whispers” dedication to Launcelot Blackford
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  • 1913-47: Archibald Robinson Hoxton, Sr. 1895

    1913-47: Archibald Robinson Hoxton, Sr. 1895

    "Sitting under Mr. Hoxton for three years in mathematics, I found him a teacher thoroughly master of his subject, thoroughly capable imparting it, very patient with the student, if only the latter showed an inclination to do his best, and almost universally successful in inspiring the student to do his best." - Richard Pardee Williams, Jr., Class of 1904, and Principal 1947-51
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  • 1947-51: Richard Pardee Williams, Jr. 1904

    1947-51: Richard Pardee Williams, Jr. 1904

    "Well-equipped … by temperament, judgment and experience, Mr. Williams has the additional quality of a keen sense of humor and a picturesqueness of speech that is its own copyright against imitation. The dining room, for instance, is a good place to be in, but it’s better still when you can hear the joyous and contagious laughter of Mr. Williams above the noise – and you can!" - “EHS News” Spring 1948
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  • 1951-67: Richard Porter Thomsen '30

    1951-67: Richard Porter Thomsen '30

    "I’d like to think that in identifying you as sons of Episcopal High School, people will associate you with such qualities and concepts as fair play, good sportsmanship, reliability, tolerance, respect for others, a strong sense of justice, a willingness to give of yourself for the good of others, and an unshakable sense of honor … leading lives of quality will reflect the best of what you have learned at your School." - Richard Porter Thomsen, Class of 1930
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  • 1967-81: Archibald Robinson Hoxton, Jr. '35

    1967-81: Archibald Robinson Hoxton, Jr. '35

    "…the greatness of a school’s head is measured not by what he changes, but by what he preserves. In troubled years of violence, disorder, and savage attacks on ancient values, Young Flick provided a fine balance between old and new, and resolutely kept our School on course." - John White, Class of 1930
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  • 1981-98: Lee Sanford Ainslie, Jr. '56

    1981-98: Lee Sanford Ainslie, Jr. '56

    "More important than appearances, is the maintenance of the basic character and personality of EHS, whether that is defined by a commitment to high standards or by the observance of past traditions … If this institution remains true to its character and is committed to high spiritual, academic, athletic, and social standards, regardless of what it looks like, it is Episcopal High School." - Lee Sanford Ainslie, Jr. ’56
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  • 1998-2016: F. Robertson Hershey

    1998-2016: F. Robertson Hershey

    “Rob knows the students, and he knows what is going on with them because he is out there, among them, living and growing up with them.” - Tim Jaeger, Assistant Head for Student Life
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  • 2016-Present: Charles M. Stillwell

    "He is a proven leader of deep moral character and inspiring intellect, with a passion for educational excellence. Sharing both the values and ambitions that our community holds dear, Charley is ideally suited to build upon the great legacy of The High School." – Bailey Patrick '79, then-Chairman of the Board of Trustees
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