John A. Palumbo II '67
Showing their true Italian heritage, the Palumbo family is passionate about family, business, UK basketball, and Sayre. Through patience and hard work, John A. Palumbo II has been a stable, supporting member of the Sayre community for three generations. Graduating from Sayre in 1967, John not only saw his children come through Sayre, but also his grandchildren, who currently attend Sayre and are ready to carry on the Palumbo tradition.
John graduated from the University of Kentucky and oversaw Palumbo Properties, started by his late father. Palumbo Properties and Palumbo Lumber, led by his son, Joe Palumbo, have grown to be two of the top companies in the state. You can find the Palumbo influence and name in almost any part of town, but perhaps none as big as the one John Palumbo and his family have at Sayre.
John Reveals his Pride for Sayre School
Upon Reflection, there are several things that are a source of pride for me regarding my time at Sayre, most of which involve athletics since my academic achievements gave a whole, new meaning to the word mediocrity.
I was fortunate enough to win the broad jump (long jump) in the city meet; the gold medal for the eleventh region broad jump and triple jump; the silver medal in the eleventh region high jump; and the bronze medal in the state meet for the triple jump.
I was, again, fortunate enough to play on the first boys basketball team in the history of Sayre as well as the following to seasons. Our highs and lows during those initial three years as well as the camaraderie and the other life’s lessons experienced during those wonderful times, beggar my ability to describe with more words.
The thing of which I am most proud did not occur when I was a student, but when I was member of the Sayre Board of Trustees. Through a unique set of serendipitous circumstances, I was able to hatch the idea for an auction-fund-raising event which ultimately became the Sayre Spectacular. That is my high-water mark
I have two favorite Sayre memories. The first: playing a district tournament game on the Memorial Coliseum floor; the home court of the University of Kentucky Wildcats. I still get shivers recalling that. The second was my throwing the ball in the air as the clock hit zeros at the Burgin High School gym on 22 Dec 65. The first victory in the history if the Sayre Spartans boy’s basketball program.
I would tell prospective parents that the Sayre experience is unique beyond words, and valuable beyond price.
Sayre, my parents, and the Military all were critical in preparing me for life after college.
I attended the University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University
Sayre continues to attract the Palumbo family because of the quality of the administration, faculty, staff and (most importantly) the students.
The biggest change in athletics is that Sayre has morphed from a punch line to a respected opponent. Sayre athletics is special to me because I will be watching my grandkids play in the same place my sons and I played. Indescribable.