Honoring Pete Higgins

A message from Head of School Paul J. Stellato:

Princeton Day School learned today of the untimely passing of Pete Higgins, coach, Physical Education instructor, and friend to all he met.

For more than 20 years, Pete was a fixture on our playing fields, in our gyms and classrooms, and through the hallways and Campus Center, where he met old friends and made new ones. Gregarious, generous, garrulous, Pete welcomed the world and all it had to offer, making the most of every opportunity that came his way. He loved his students, and, if you asked Pete for a story of a Panther who graduated 5, 10, or 20 years before, he could summon a gentle memory as fresh as the present moment. If you asked a student or alumnus about the Three Higgs Rules, they would say: Show up! Have your stuff! Bring your best effort!

Born and raised on Long Island, Pete was educated at Guilford College, Adelphi University, and Long Island University. Before arriving on the Great Road in the fall of 1997, he taught in both the Smithtown and Three Village school districts; and he coached at SUNY Stony Brook and Smithtown West High School.

During a wide-ranging, 23-year Princeton Day School career, Pete played a variety of roles: PE teacher, coach of basketball and football, health instructor, advisor. Still, in Pete's heart, there was room for just one sport: lacrosse. Given his Long Island roots, Pete came by his love of lacrosse naturally. From Syracuse University to the University of Virginia and every Division I, III, or club and travel team in between, Pete knew the players, coaches, and traditions. He treasured the game; and he relished talking about it with anyone who shared this great passion.

Pete was a true, loyal colleague. He loved Princeton Day School and was proud of the role he played in its many successes. He was responsible for more of them than we can now number.

A kind, empathetic friend, he was the loving, doting father of Catie '17, Jane '22, Mickey '23, and Quinn. Pete was a devoted partner and friend to his wife, Becky. We embrace them now in their time of trial and sadness; and we commit ourselves to them as they move through the days and weeks ahead.

Information about memorial services and tributes will be forthcoming.

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