Meet Our Seniors
These seniors explain how Sayre helped them develop strong and diverse academic and co-curricular portfolios, and how their experiences here helped them gain acceptances at schools of their choosing.
Seniors Abigail Dietrich, Harry Wang, Caroline Parker, and Perry Mains share how their Sayre School experience challenged them personally and academically and provided them opportunities to develop new skills and interests. Caroline Parker, who plans to attend Yale University in the fall, remarks on how Sayre's "culture of participation" opened doors for her to become involved in new pursuits, from her role as Yearbook Editor to her place in student government. Harry Wang, who will attend Carnegie Mellon, said, "Sayre doesn't only prepare students for college, it prepares them for life!"
Congratulations to our seniors who qualified as National Merit Semifinalists. National Merit Semifinalist Corporation announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.
Sayre is proud to announce Abigail Dietrich, Leena Haider, Caroline Parker, and Ben Waltman as National Merit® Finalists and Ashwin Kamineni as a National Merit Commended Scholar. Sayre's College Counselor Mr. Randy Mills recognized these students for "demonstrating through distinguished performance high potential for future academic accomplishment." Congratulations to Abigail, Leena, Caroline, Ben, and Ashwin for their outstanding achievement in academic excellence.
Senior AP Art students share their love for the discipline and how Sayre's extensive offerings in the arts has helped them become passionate practitioners of their crafts.
"Three young artists represent the students - many of whom I've been working with for thirty-three years." said Upper School art teacher Bill Berryman. "They each have a distinctive and different ambitious approach to their vision. I cherish the opportunities afforded to them. I am so proud of each of them and have no doubts that they will realize their dreams."
Sayre's Kids-to-Kids program is based on four principles that form the acronym KIDS: Kindness, Inclusion, Differences, and Self-Worth. Now 14 years at Sayre, the program fosters greater recognition and appreciation of human diversity. Ms. Melissa Stephan, past parent and Board member co-directs Kids to Kids with Cathy Bilberry, Assistant College Counselor.
Here, some of our seniors—all four-year veteran facilitators of Kids-to-Kids sessions—share their own personal stories of growth and change brought about by this unique community service experience. Other senior students who have participated in Kids-to-Kids for four years include Nick Clark and Will Peters-Seymour.<
Seniors talk about how Sayre smoothed the sometimes rocky road to college acceptance. Support and guidance both from their teachers and Sayre’s amazing college counseling staff led these two seniors to give thoughtful consideration to the range of options available to them, and finally to select choice schools for their undergraduate studies.
Early Decision (ED) college application plans are binding. A student who is accepted as an ED applicant must attend the college. Due to the stellar quality of the college counseling process, Sayre has a remarkable number of early decision acceptances. In this video, capture the excitement and pride expressed by Emerson; Kate; Lauren; Marshall; Tabor; Woods; and Zachary--Sayre seniors who will enroll in their "dream" colleges this fall.
"Sayre has provided me with unique and interesting experiences that helps foster my success as a student and a person. And to this success, I'd argue all credit goes to the teachers.
The Middle School exposed me to a more advanced level of classroom dynamics. No longer was class a dull mixture of worksheets and readings but vibrant lectures where teachers could and would answer any questions we had for them. In high school, I met my match in AP Physics 1. I was immediately slammed with homework in amounts I had never previously experienced. As a result, I prepared myself for the many, many more difficult feats I would have to tackle in the Upper School. Sayre’s Math Department empowered my love of the subject with their unorthodox teachings and commitment to helping me excel."
"Sayre teachers are easily accessible and happy to give one-on-one attention. This also means there's lots of opportunities for unique and customized pursuits like the one I am doing in the Modern Language Department with another classmate. We are reading French science fiction novels like The Planet of the Apes.
Another thing I love about the teachers at Sayre is how diverse their teaching styles are. There are interactive biology lectures and self-driven or discussion based classes in both AP Chemistry and English Composition. Sayre is also incredibly well-balanced. As a freshman, I wanted to focus on science classes, but I am also grateful to my history instructors who showed us how this is a living field instead of a series of facts to memorize. Sayre has shown me the strength of a broad education."
"My math teacher is approachable and kind. Her teaching style is the best example of someone who loves math and loves teaching it to others. We continue to connect regularly even though I am not currently in her class but still regarded as her student.
I learned the true meaning of the ethics of hard work from my physics teacher. In his class, I couldn't help but became more focused. His passion for the subject rubbed off on me - motivating me to work harder and want to learn more.
Sayre has a great atmosphere that helps me focus on my academics. The atrium and the halls are always nice and quiet. This allows me to relax during my study hall and efficiently crank out all the work I have. Teachers are always ready to offer their assistance to students during their free hours.
Sayre’s small class size allows teachers and students to accomplish more. In the lab, we can perform our own chemical reactions and observe the results. We have up-to-date equipment and safety controls in place. We also have the opportunity to use an electron accelerator in the physics lab - which looks amazing! The biology lab is full of cool equipment that aid in our learning."
"Sayre teachers want each of us to succeed, reach our potential, and are eager to get to know each of us on a personal basis. Our advisors give us advice on how to balance workload and keep track of how we are doing in our classes. However, all teachers share this role. This year, I have worked on the college essay process with a history teacher. I never had him before this year and he was able to help me come up with an essay topic on international business. Actually, all the teachers have been willing to help me and have been very approachable.
If someone had told me in middle school that I would take 11 AP courses and become a National Merit Commended Scholar, I would have been surprised. Because of Sayre’s small class sizes and individualized attention, I have achieved more academically than I thought was possible. Therefore, I am thankful for all of my teachers who have encouraged me along the way.
Courses here are rigorous. In each of the two AP science classes that I have completed, I had to devote substantial time outside of class to master the content. I also spent numerous free periods in one-on-one meetings with teachers.
Regarding non-STEM courses, every classroom environment has been open to discussion and has allowed students to control the direction of a day’s work. The Harkness discussions are seen as valid means of assessing student mastery of information and facilitating deep thought to make the content that is learned more applicable. In AP US History, I always looked forward to our daily discussions on political and cultural changes in America. Because of this class, I am not only a more informed history scholar but also a more knowledgeable citizen of the United States."