Samuel Pettit Vanderslice, 83, a retired educator who was first principal of Washington-Lee High School in Arlington and later was director of admissions for the Strayer College business school here, died of kidney failure Friday at the home of his daughter, Dorothea V. Fenwick, in Arlington. He lived in Falls Church.

Mr. Vanderslice began his career in education as a high school teacher in his native Suffolk, Va., in 1915. Seven years later, he moved to Arlington to become principal of the old George Mason High School and Mount Vernon Elementary School.

After the completion of Washington-Lee in 1924, he served as the school's first principal until 1938, when he joined Strayer College here.

In 1952, he rreturned to public education in Fairfax County. He was assigned to Mount Vernon and Falls Church high schools before becoming an adminstrative teacher at J.E.B. Stuart High School in 1959. He retired in 1962.

Mr. Vanderslice earned bachelor's and master's degrees in education from the Univerity of Virginia. He also did postgraduate work in education at America University and George Washington University.

He served as a Marine Corps drill instructor at Parris Island, S.C., during World War I. During World War II, he organized and served as captain of Company No. 7 of the Virginia Reserve Militia. He organized the company from members of the Arlington-Fairfax Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America. He was a former president of the chapter.

Mr. Vanderslice was a member for more than 50 years of the Clarendon United Methodist Church in Arlington. He was a member of the Arlington Fairfax and Virginia education associations and the Virginia Principals Association. He was a life member of the National Education Association.

Besides Mrs. Fenwick, survivors include his wife of 38 years, the former Dorothea Wilkiins of Falls Church; a son, Samuel P. III, of Virginia Beach, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.