Sayre School

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Sayre School
"Sayre School provides an innovative and inclusive learning environment that empowers students to achieve academic excellence, embrace challenge, and cultivate integrity in order to lead purposeful lives in an ever-changing world."[1]
Lexington, KY
Type Independent
Established 1854
Head of School Stephen Manella [3]

70% of faculty hold advanced degrees[4] class = average class size is 15 students.[5]

ratio = 7:1
Enrollment 550 total (PS-12)[6]
Campus Urban; 10 buildings[2]
Mascot Spartan
Average ACT scores (2015)

47% of seniors scored 28 or above on the ACT; over a quarter of the class scored 30 or above.[7]

athletics = 40 sports teams offered at the Varsity, Junior Varsity and Middle School level(grades 6-12)[8]

Sayre School is an independent, co-educational school in Lexington, Kentucky. The school enrolls 550 students from preschool to twelfth grade. It has 68 full-time faculty members.[9]

David A. Sayre, a New Jersey silversmith who migrated to Lexington where he eventually became a successful banker, founded the school as an all female boarding school in 1854—over a decade before the University of Kentucky first opened its doors.[10] Originally called Transylvania Women's College, the school remained an all female institution until 1876.[11] In the late 19th century the school began a college program giving out associate degrees, and to this day the pillars outside the main entrance state "Sayre College."[citation needed] Sayre dropped its associate degree program because the area was already served by two other colleges, the University of Kentucky, and Transylvania University.[citation needed]


The Sayre School consists of three academic divisions, covering ages 2 through grade 12. The Lower School consists of a preschool program, for ages 2-5,[12] and Kindergarten through Grade 5. The Middle School covers grades 6-8, and the Upper School has grades 9-12, like a traditional high school. The Upper School offers 16 Advanced Placement courses, and 89% of seniors who took an AP class earned a score of 3 or higher with 60% being designated as AP Scholars; six were National AP Scholars.[13]


Since Sayre is no longer a boarding school, most of its students reside in Lexington, Kentucky or its nearby counties, such as Scott County, Bourbon, Jessamine, and Woodford counties. Students come from 15 Central Kentucky counties, such as Fleming and Estill counties, that are more than an hour commute away.[7]


The school is the most expensive college preparatory institution in the Bluegrass region,[14][15] charging $7,000 to $19,970 a year for tuition.[16] Tuition rates increase with the level of education, meaning that Sayre charges students in its high school, or Upper School, the most. The school offers both need-based financial assistance and merit scholarships.

Notable alumni[edit]

Actress Ashley Judd attended Sayre.

Notable past Sayre students include Nobel Laureate William Lipscomb,[17] woman suffragist Laura Clay, settlement school founder Katherine Pettit, Josh Hopkins, Mayor Thomas E. Hayden of Flower Mound, Texas,[18] Mr. Joshua L. Bishop, Byrd Spilman Dewey and actress Ashley Judd.[19][20]


Sayre's sports teams are called the Spartans. Their school colors are blue and gold. Notably, the school has a "no-cut" policy for its sports teams, meaning that any student can participate on an athletic team, regardless of ability, if he or she wishes to do so.[8]


  1. ^ "Sayre: Mission & History". 
  2. ^ "Sayre: Campus Map". Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  3. ^ "Sayre: Headmaster's Welcome". Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  4. ^ "Sayre: Fast Facts". Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  5. ^ "Sayre: Fast Facts". Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  6. ^ "Fast Facts". Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  7. ^ a b "Sayre: Fast Facts". Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  8. ^ a b "Sayre: Athletics". Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  9. ^ "Sayre: Fast Facts". Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  10. ^ "Sayre: David A. Sayre". Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  11. ^ "Sayre: Sayre's History". Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  12. ^ "Preschool". Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  13. ^ "College Counseling, Upper School Profile". Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  14. ^ "Tuition and Fees: Lexington Catholic High School". 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  15. ^ "Lexington Christian Academy - Tuition Information". 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  16. ^ "Sayre School Financial Bulletin". 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  17. ^ Chapter: Process of Discovery (1977); An Autobiographical Sketch, William Lipscomb, 14 pp., Sayre is on page xv, in the book Structures and Mechanisms: From Ashes to Enzymes (Acs Symposium Series, vol. 827) Gareth R. Eaton (Editor), Don C. Wiley (Editor), Oleg Jardetzky (Editor), American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 2002, ISBN 9780841237360, 404 pp., online at
  18. ^ "Thomas Edward Hayden". Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Interview Ajudd; Tops in Lex". Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  20. ^ "Educators: Katherine Pettit". Women in Kentucky. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 

External links[edit]