This nominee, if selected, will be an inspiration to those current students, who might relate to someone who developed and combined outstanding personal attributes with modest academic capability. By making the most out of his natural abilities, he added value to society through his lifelong professional achievement, international humanitarian efforts, and local community volunteerism.
In Sandy's freshman year at BHS, his Guidance Counselor called him into his office, looked at Sandy's less than stellar grade report and told him that perhaps he should transfer from Brighton to Edison Tech, a technical/vocational school where Sandy could use his hands to learn a trade! Sandy rejected the Counselor's pessimistic advice and stayed at BHS. His persistence in the classroom kept him eligible to participate in sports. Although small in stature, his leadership, focus, tenacity, but most of all, his exceptional preparation, allowed him to excel in sports, resulting in his selection as All-County in three sports - soccer, basketball, and baseball.
Despite his sub-par grades, Sandy's athletic achievements at BHS gained him admission to Hobart College to play basketball. His ambition to play professional baseball resulted in leaving Hobart after the first semester, to attend spring training with a farm team of the Cincinnati Reds. Unsuccessful in this first attempt, Sandy returned to college, this time to Syracuse University, which offered him a partial scholarship to play soccer.
In his sophomore year Sandy attended another spring training session of the Cincinnati Reds, with the understanding that he would sign a baseball contract only if the team's scouts believed that he could play major league baseball. The scouts were unanimous in their decision--Sandy should return to Syracuse! Although a high-scoring soccer center forward at Brighton, he was asked to play goalie for the sake of the team, a position he had never played. Applying his outstanding athletic abilities and work ethic, he learned the position and earned All-American honorable mention.
Meanwhile, one of his nominators, Merwyn Kroll, was working as a life insurance agent at the provident Mutual Life Insurance Company in Rochester. He encouraged Sandy to become a summer intern and later a campus agent for Provident at Syracuse University. Sandy developed an instant passion for the work and proceeded to make it his life's career. After selecting Estate Planning with Life Insurance as his major at Syracuse University, Sandy's grade point average soared from a C-minus to a B-plus.
The experiences cited above, that started with a BHS guidance counselor's challenge, began a process that has served Sandy well throughout his life. Never take no for an answer. Figure out what you love to do because that is what you will do best; look for challenges and opportunities where you can contribute and be successful; learn the fundamentals of the activities you choose; work harder than anyone else to become proficient; and be prepared. That is Sandy. That approach to adult life was initiated and nurtured at Brighton High School.