Dr. Alexandra was a creative, dedicated teacher who inspired her many students over a 40 year career to find a love of science and learning. Most of her teaching years were served in Hamilton Township, first at Sunnybrae and Sayen Elementary Schools and then at Reynolds Middle School. Sandra encouraged her students to participate in district wide science fairs and accompanied many students to the yearly New Jersey State Museum’s “Super Science Saturday: NJ State Science Festivals.”
She earned her B.A. and M.A. in Education from Trenton State College and her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Iowa in 1996. Throughout her career she continued to take course work for additional teaching certificates in both Elementary education and Middle School education in the various fields of science including Earth and General Science. In 1987 she was among only eight science teachers in the nation to be the first to be certified by the National Science Teachers Association for a national certification in Middle School Science. The Hamilton Township City Council awarded her for being the only NJ teacher to receive this first ever certification.
Additional recognition for her years in science education came from the awarding of the Hamilton Education Foundation Teacher Grant for Outstanding Achievement in Innovative Classroom Practices in 2001, an award from the NJ Council for Elementary Science for Outstanding Leadership and Effort in Science Education, and ‘Reynolds Teacher of the Year’ in 2005.
After her retirement in 2011, she enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and in Europe with her special traveling companion, Kenneth German. Sandra had a great sense of humor and a quick wit.
Born in Passaic in 1948, Sandra was pre-deceased by her parents, Irene and Stephen J. Olsavsky, her brother Stephen J. (Buddy) Olsavsky, and her uncle Joseph Shebchuk. She is survived by her aunt Alexandra Zybura and her cousins JoAnn Robinson and Martin Zybura; her uncle and aunt Richard and Lorraine Shebchuk and her cousins Karen, Christy, and Michael; her cousins Sam Shebchuk, Carol Wallace, and Sue Figgins; her sister-in-law Marlene Olsavsky, her niece Marlene Olsavsky (Lowe) and her great-niece Ellie Lowe.
Burial will be at the East Ridgelawn Cemetery, 255 Main Avenue, Clifton NJ on Saturday, January 22 at 10:15 am. Friends are welcome to join the family in honoring Sandra’s passing. Please gather at the cemetery office are at 10:00 am. There will not be a visitation or service prior to the burial. A memorial service for Sandra will be held at a future date to be announced by the family.
The family would like to thank the nurses, therapists and caretakers from Penn Medicine, Compassionate Care and Little Angels Helping Hands for their kind and considerate care for Sandra during her illness. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK), 72 Escher Street, Trenton NJ 08609.
Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK)
72 Escher Street, Trenton NJ 08609