Sandy said when Lockhart later approached him with a job opening she said, "I remember that [fundraising in the art department]. I never forgot it. I want you in my department."
That is how Sandy found himself, four years ago, again teaching art in Kanawha County.
Without being able to drive, traveling to five different Kanawha County schools weekly is challenging. When he began he depended on the bus system to get to work. Hauling art supplies and samples, while making bus connections wasn't easy. Since then, he's made friends and connections with other county employees who give him rides, and his wife fills in any remaining gaps in his transportation schedule.
His inability to see has not inhibited his ability to teach or to create art of his own. Sandy displayed a pen and ink pointillism piece, a detailed sailing ship, which had been commissioned by a local historian.
He says his process is slower than someone with normal sight. He has equipped his home studio's drafting table with a special light to help the process.
"It is a great struggle, but I continue to do my job and I am always trying to reinvent myself with new ideas and concepts," Sandy said.
In addition to teaching full time in Kanawha County, he gives private art lessons in his home, handles set design for his church's plays, takes commissions and is the director of visual arts for Hurricane's Arts in Action, a nonprofit organization.
He also continues to put that radio voice to good use -- singing and narrating in church productions at Maranatha Fellowship.
Sandy lives in Saint Albans with his wife and two teenage children. He said faith and family support are what have allowed him to overcome the odds and be a successful father and teacher. "It all goes back to my faith," he said.
Sandy said a key to living a successful life in the face of adversity is to always stay positive. He credits God for always being there, even in his struggles, which he said, have left him in a unique place to mentor his students.
"I try to teach kids not only art, but life lessons like honoring authority and always giving their best in life."
Reach Autumn D.F. Hopkins at autumn.hopk...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.