Sandy Starr with students in the front room of the Lavender farmhouse, which today still houses the Children’s House Preschool.

Children’s House still shines today thanks to Sandra Starr | Guest Column

  • Fri Oct 6th, 2017 1:22pm
  • News

Submitted by Children’s House

Children’s House exists today in no small part due to the educational vision and early groundwork laid by founder Sandra Starr, who died in August this year. A credentialed teacher, Sandy imagined a place where young children could develop more fully in a safe and inspirational way, “through a creative curriculum rich in discovery and exploration.” In 1972, Children’s House was born of that vision.

Forty-five years later, the value of this play-based philosophy is still current and its success resonates in our community through many hundreds of Children’s House graduates – many of whom have grown to enroll their own children here.

Under Sandy’s early stewardship, the school found a permanent home in the Lavender farmhouse and developed a Board of Directors by 1976 so parents and others could see firsthand the components of an Early Childhood Education and understand the importance of parents’ involvement in their children’s most formative years. She eventually left the school in 1977 for a teaching position in the elementary school, but by then the school was well on its path.

“Her work left an indelible mark on our community,” says Susan Anderson, Children’s House Executive Director. “We are forever mindful of her hard work and foresight, and thankful for the support our community continues to give to early childhood education on Orcas.” We are gathering stories from graduates who remember attending the Preschool. Email

Friends of Sandy, alumni and parents who would like to honor Sandy’s contributions may make a donation in her name. Money will be used to support parent and staff enrichment and further the farmhouse restoration. For information visit