High School: Liberty High School
GPA: 3.577 (unweighted)
Plans for after graduation: Sayre plans to pursue a degree in civil or environmental engineering at West Virginia University.
It makes sense that Liberty High School Senior Andrew Sayre plans to attend West Virginia University.
He says he's simply always been drawn to the university in Morgantown and that he embodies the kind of understated poise, coupled with determination and the desire to work hard without much fanfare, that the symbolic Mountaineer represents.
"I just want to learn and do as much as I can," Sayre said.
This math whiz will have a total of 14 college credit hours in mathematics from WVU when he graduates from high school this year.
"It's a fun challenge," he said. "I really enjoy it, and I find the college classes a little easier than the high school courses, actually."
He was selected as one of six winners of full-ride scholarships as part of the 2013 EQT Students of Excellence Scholarship program.
Sayre said he's always been good at math, but he didn't really enjoy it until his sophomore year in high school. He said his teacher helped him like learning and how to use his math skills. Every time he learns something new in calculus, he said he feels a sense of accomplishment.
Kathy Marino, advanced math teacher at Liberty High School, said her entire college-level calculus class is made up of leaders, but Sayre stands out as a leader among his classmates.
"He's very giving, very open, very protective of his classmates and the students, and he wants to be a leader," she said. "He wants to show them what is proper behavior, and … what kind of student you should be."
Marino said Sayre was selected as the school's student of the month in September, which was the first month the honor was given this school year, which Marino said indicates he had the most support from all the faculty members.
He likes to build and design things, so he has plans to pursue a degree in either civil or environmental engineering, but he's not sure yet where the career path may lead him.
For now, he leaves Liberty High School at about 11 a.m. each Monday and Wednesday to take his two college courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College. He said it feels a little strange to go back and forth between high school and college, but he enjoys having another high standard to meet and exceed.
Sayre said his parents have always expected him to reach a high level of academic achievement, but he's always felt compelled to exceed expectations.
Sayre stepped up for his family when his father suffered a disability due to a work-related accident, taking on a job last year on top of taking on several responsibilities at home.
Sayre has taken advanced classes at school, but admits English is his least favorite subject. He has maintained straight-A grades throughout his junior year and expects to do the same this year.
Marino said Sayre received an A+ in her college-level algebra class last year, and he told her his goal was to get a grade of 95, which she said he has met so far.
He often tutors his friends and is known for motivational pep talks to his peers.
"Numerous teachers refer to me as the ‘silent leader,'" Sayre wrote in his scholarship application. "Through my actions, I encourage others."
Last summer, Sayre attended the first-ever Tom Dunn Energy and Leadership Academy, sponsored by the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia.
Sayre is the second-oldest child in his family. He has three sisters and said he's the go-to guy when one of the girls needs a ride.
He spends free time in the summer camping and fishing, and he enjoys hunting and hiking when he gets the chance as well, sometimes taking his dog, Abby.
"I love it all," he said about being outside.
He has volunteered for a community Powder Puff Tournament to raise money for breast cancer awareness for the past four years. Sayre's motivational spirit has gone to good use on the Powder Puff cheerleading squad, which led to more than $6,000 in donations at the game this year.
Sayre is no stranger to the football field. He is co-captain of the Liberty High School Mountaineers football team.
"I started my freshman year when a couple of friends talked me into trying it out, and I loved the sport," he said.
Despite not having a lot of free time on his hands, Sayre said when he's not outside, he likes to spend time with his friends and occasionally plays a game of Call of Duty.
Sayre said he's always held WVU in high regard and grew up watching the football team take the field on Saturdays in the fall. It's the only college he's ever wanted to attend, and he'll be the first person in his family to attend college — an accomplishment he said he is eager to reach.
"I've just always liked West Virginia University," he explained simply.