|22 May 2023|
It is with immense sadness that I write about the passing of a titan of Trinity Grammar School, the former Head of Classical Languages, Sandra Stark.
Sandra Lynne Stark was born on 27 July 1948, the daughter of Charles Granquist, a charismatic Aussie Digger and Prisoner of War during WW2, and Ann Kalugina, a taciturn and courageous Ukrainian high school Mathematics teacher from Melitopol. She attained her HSC summa cum laude from Hornsby Girls’ High School, where it would come as no surprise to learn that her love for languages blossomed. She graduated from Sydney University with a three year Undergraduate Professional Course from the Teachers’ College, majoring in Latin, French, Ancient History and Archaeology.
Throughout her teaching career, Sandra left great legacies and made a huge impact on the lives of thousands, first at Fort Street Girls’ High, then at Fort Street High at Petersham when the two schools combined. Of course, in 1994 she continued her illustrious career at Trinity Grammar School where she would become the Head of Classical Languages. Sandra will be remembered as an inspiring teacher who was knowledgeable, dedicated, driven to be the best, professional, but also wonderfully irreverent, seriously funny, and somebody who wore her heart on her sleeve. She was truly brilliant and endlessly inspiring. She loved her subject to the core, and adored her students, not just the brilliant ones, but in fact, and especially, the naughty ones, with whom she had the most wonderful of ways, flitting between strictness and humour to win their affection in the way that only the most gifted teachers can. Sandra was a complete one-off – a wonderful woman, a genius of a teacher and a loyal, kind and devoted friend.
Arguably, her greatest legacy that she leaves behind is the passion for the Classics that she instilled in her students (cultivated with the added persuasion of Mars Bars generously handed out); a legacy most evident in the work of the many students of hers who went on to become Classics teachers themselves both in Sydney and abroad. Sandra will be sorely missed by her friends and loved ones. No doubt she will be remembered with great fondness, respect and gratitude by the many students and former colleagues of hers whose lives she enriched with her magnanimous presence.
Ave atque vale, optima magistrarum!
Dane Drivas (’11)