Clara Steinhardt Hayward, 91, Langley, died Oct. 26, 2002.
She was born in 1911 in New York City to Clara Aurora Luis and Irving David Steinhardt.
She was a lifetime learner and teacher. Her special interests included writing, reading and reciting poetry. She began her teaching career at Julia Richmond High School in New York City. She was always active in local politics.
After moving to the West Coast in 1950, she was a member of the Citizens Advisory Council, which was chiefly responsible for establishing Mercer Island High School in 1953. She was one of the original teachers there, retiring after 22 years. Some highlights of her work at MIHS included her time as co-originator and co-teacher of an integrated humanities class, as founder of and advisor to the award-winning school newspaper the Mercer High Times, as the first chair of the English Department, as mentor to many beginning teachers, as teacher to countless students, and as district curriculum director for English.
For many years, she “launched” the senior class down the aisle as they entered the auditorium at graduation, until her final graduating class in 1976.
She was also an avid follower of worldwide events. After retirement she kept busy volunteering. She worked with the Mercer Island Visual Arts League and the Mercer Island Teen Center.
She moved to Whidbey Island at the age of 78 and worked with the student tutoring program. She was a member of Useless Bay Golf and Country Club.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Julius Jacinto Steinhardt; and a sister, Frances Kleinfeld.
She is survived by a brother, David Steinhardt, and his wife, Jan, of Tiburon, Calif.; two daughters, Virginia Hayward Malm and her husband, Stephen, of Portland, Ore., and Pixie Hayward Schickele of Albany, Calif.; a son, Chip Hayward, and his wife, Libby, of Greenbank; and two grandchildren, Andrew Malm of Seattle and Katherine Patterson and her husband, David, of Redmond.
Memorials may be made to the Clara S. Hayward Memorial Fund, c/o Liz Dodd, Business Manager, Mercer Island School District, 4160 86th Ave. SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.