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A Celebration of Peter W. Mertz

As the school year came to a close, HRA Celebrated Peter W. Mertz.  Mr. Mertz has led HRA as Head of School since 2011 and retires this year, 2023.  On behalf of the parents of the Senior Class, Class President, Aarman Khayat ’23 presented both Lisa and Peter Mertz with graduation leis.
In his twelve years at Hampton Roads Academy, Peter Mertz presided over the most significant transformation of the school’s campus.  Under his guidance, the school added more than 30 classrooms, five science labs, a new entrance with student commons and administrative offices, a dining hall and the HRA Hydroponics Lab.  He established the International Residency Program and the Athletic Hall of Fame, oversaw the establishment of the REACH program, and anchored a debt reduction campaign, leaving the school in a secure financial position.

More than this, Peter Mertz will be remembered fondly for making it his priority to know his students, every one of them by name, and for putting their well-being first and foremost, encouraging them to be the best they can be.

At the celebration, the Lisa and Peter Mertz Meeting Room, fittingly located within the Mary and Larry Pope Dining Hall, was dedicated in honor of the Mertz's service to the school.  

We are also proud to announce the creation of an endowed fund, the Peter W. Mertz Fund.  Created by Michael Fisher '86 and four other members of the Class of 1986, this fund will directly support scholarships for the children of HRA faculty and staff.

To honor Peter with a donation to the fund, please contact Jaik Henderson, our Director of Advancement.  Donations may be made online at