Richard Stark was an educator in the Austin ISD for 16 years before moving to Dripping Springs in 1976 and teaching at Dripping Springs Elementary School before replacing principal Rob Shelton at the campus that then housed grades 1-12. He served as principal for 15 years and saw the school district nearly quadruple in size before he retired in 1995.
In addition to fostering a tightknit group of educators, students and community, Stark has also been credited with helping bring youth sports to Dripping Springs. In 1969, he and his wife Susan purchased 22 acres of land on Bell Springs Road – the first step in kicking off their dream of opening a sports camp. In 1971 they opened the family-run business called Sports Country, and since then have coached thousands of boys and girls all over Texas and beyond. Stark helped organize competitive teams and coached baseball, basketball and soccer teams for eight years.
Church has also been a big part of the Stark family and Richard served as Ruling Elder for three different congregations in the area. Richard and Susan were founding members of two churches – Shepherd of the Hills in Oak Hill and Hill Country Presbyterian in Dripping Springs, the latter of which met at their home for 11 years.
Stark has volunteered with other community organizations including DS Recycles, Helping Hands, DS Education Foundation, the DS Community Library Board and the Dripping Springs School Board.
This past July, Richard and Susan celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary. The couple have three children and eight grandchildren.
On Sept. 14, the Dripping Springs Masonic Lodge No. 426 will honor Stark for his accomplishments with a Community Builder Award. The public is invited to attend the ceremony at the Lodge building, located at 102 Old Fitzhugh Road in Dripping Springs.