Frank M. Perrine
July 22, 1933 – July 18, 2023
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Frank M. Perrine, our beloved and longest-serving Head of School, on July 18, 2023, at his home in Larkspur, CA.
In 1967, Frank succeeded Elizabeth Churchill as Foote’s fifth head of school, serving in this role for 25 years before passing the baton to Jean Lamont in 1992. During Frank’s tenure, Foote saw many changes in its program and in the world, but Frank kept our school focused on its mission of teaching and learning with joy, passion, vigor, and love.
Some of the many accomplishments ushered in under Frank’s leadership include:
· Adding a 9th grade
· Purchasing land on Highland Street to create the lower playing field
· Establishing an endowment for the school
· Building the North Building in the early 1980s
· Establishing structured community service efforts
· Initiating diversity efforts
· Overseeing our library expansion in 1990
Always behind these administrative tasks was a primary concern for nurturing and maintaining the spirit and tone of the school – one of joy, optimism, and possibility. Frank felt that his main responsibility as headmaster would always be to protect — and to pass on intact — that very palpable “special spirit” that he felt so strongly when he first walked in the door of Foote School.
In a recent conversation, Frank was asked what advice he would give today’s Foote students. He replied: “My advice would always be the same: jump in the water and give it your all. … Be the best person you possibly can be, make a better world. Love your life and pass it on!”
It is Frank’s love of life and his love for the Foote community that will most be remembered. His boisterous laugh and quick smile will continue to have a lasting impact on our school and all its constituents. Frank brought out the best in all those around him and taught others to do the same — in fact, he shared his thoughts on bringing out the best in children in a New York Times article in 1992.
Please join us in expressing sympathy to Frank’s family: his wife Laura and their children Charlotte ’78, Bill ’80, and Katherine ’84. Please look for a more in-depth tribute to Frank in an upcoming issue of Foote Prints.