Hamilton teacher creates Easter eggs of DeWine, Dr. Amy Acton

Even while cooped up by the COVID-19 coronavirus quarantine, Ridgeway Elementary teacher Stacy Sandlin and her 15-year-old daughter, Addison, hatched some of the most amusing Easter eggs Ohioans will see this year, or any year.

The pair created eggs the feature what some would call ‘eggselent’ depictions of Gov. Mike DeWine, Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton and the virus itself, as well as an egg resembling toilet paper and other clever imagery.

Sandlin is a third-grade math and science teacher, but former student Evan Callahan has told his mother repeatedly she also could be an art teacher.

Addison created two dynamic eggs, with sticks jutting out that look like the coronavirus itself.

Other eggs depict two hands washing themselves, with cotton-ball soap bubbles; planet Earth wearing a face mask; an emoji wearing a face mask; nurse with a face mask; and a hand sanitizer.

“She’s so talented,” said Sandlin’s Ridgeway Elementary colleague, Mindee Callahan, who works in the position of student and family support, said Sandlin has created themed eggs in past years, too. “This one is very timely, and she did a great job capturing all the different areas, down to the toilet paper, the sudsy hands, and everything.”

“I think she’s an incredible teacher, and this creativity is just an example of what she uses in the classroom as well,” Callahan said.

A longtime tradition

Sandlin said she and relatives have created such eggs more than 20 years now.

“Traditionally, we get together with my brother and sister-in-law, and after the kids color their eggs, then it’s adult time, and we get down and dirty, and busy, decorating our eggs,” she said.

Sandlin’s brother, Ryan Pendergest, is a Hamilton firefighter. His wife, Satin Pendergest, is a emergency-room nurse at Fort Hamilton Hospital.

“We have done the royal wedding (of Prince William with Kate Middleton), when that was going on,” she said.

Other topics have included food themes, Alice in Wonderland and Sponge Bob.

“There are certain years that we’re busy and we’re like, ‘We can’t get together,’ but we really force ourselves to get together because we know how much my mom (the late Robin Pendergest) enjoyed it, and once we get started, we always have a great time,” she said. “It was always important to my mom, that family time, especially around Easter.”

But “this year, we decided not to get together, because of the stay-at-home, so I was just throwing it back and forth, ‘Am I going to do it, am I not?’” she said. “Last minute, I decided I had enough eggs in the house to go ahead and throw something together, and give it a try.”

She almost went with another topical theme: the wildly popular television series, ‘Tiger King,’ but instead chose coronavirus.

Addison graduates to adult table

This is only Addison’s second year working with the adults, who in past years have included her brothers Gavin (19) and Landon (17), as well as their father, Steve Sandlin.

Sandlin has watched some of the news conferences that DeWine and Acton have held, explaining the state’s strategies to defend against spread of the virus.

“I’m very proud of how our state is handling everything,” she said. “I think that we have many great leaders, but I think that they are very respected, and I’m impressed with all of their choices and the information that they’re relaying to us. Just kind of a good, comforting feeling, after watching them.”

Her students see her art abilities in their math and science classes.

“I tell them all the time that is how I learn, by drawing pictures,” said Sandlin, a 1995 graduate of Hamilton High School, who is in her 21st year teaching in the city. “That’s how I understand math, is by drawing the pictures to understand it, and understand what the story is, and what’s happening. So I draw a lot in the classroom, but I don’t know that I’m art-teacher good.”

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