Sayre School

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Sayre School
"Education of the widest range and highest order"[1]
Lexington, KY
Type Independent
Religious affiliation(s) none
Established 1854
Head of School Stephen Manella [3]
Faculty 76 full time
4 part time[4]
Enrollment 610 total (K-12)[4]
Average class size 14 students[4]
Student to teacher ratio 7:1
Campus Urban; 10 buildings[2]
Athletics 10 Interscholastic Sports (grades 9-12)[5]
Mascot Spartan
Average ACT scores (2011) 25.6 average[6]
100% scored 17 or higher
88% scored 21 or higher
61% scored 24 or higher
39% scored 27 or higher
17% scored 30 or higher[7]

Sayre School is an independent, co-educational school in Lexington, Kentucky. The school enrolls 610 students from preschool to twelfth grade. It has 76 full-time faculty members.[4]

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.[8] Originally called Transylvania Women's College, the school remained an all female institution until 1876.[9] 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 grades K-12. The Lower School consists of a preschool program, offered in both the traditional and Montessori methods,[10] and grades 1-5. 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 of the 30% of students who took the AP exams, 76% earned a passing score of 3 or higher.[11]


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. However, some students have come from areas, such as Fleming and Estill counties, that are more than an hour commute away.[4] Specifically, students that come from outside Fayette County make up 30% of the students in the Upper School and 18% of the students in the Middle School.[7][12]


The school is the most expensive college preparatory institution in the Bluegrass region,[13][14] charging $7,000 to $19,970 a year for tuition.[15] 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,[16] woman suffragist Laura Clay, settlement school founder Katherine Pettit, Josh Hopkins, Mayor Thomas E. Hayden of Flower Mound, Texas,[17] Mr. Joshua L. Bishop, Byrd Spilman Dewey and actress Ashley Judd.[18][19]


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.[5]


  1. ^ "Sayre: Fulfilling Our Mission". 
  2. ^ "Sayre: Campus Map". Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  3. ^ "Sayre: Headmaster's Welcome". Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Sayre: Sayre School At A Glance". Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  5. ^ a b "Sayre: Athletics". Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  6. ^ "Test Scores". 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  7. ^ a b "Sayre: At A Glance". Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  8. ^ "Sayre: David A. Sayre". Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  9. ^ "Sayre: Sayre's History". Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  10. ^ "Montessori and Preschool". Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  11. ^ "Advanced Placement Program". Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  12. ^ "Middle School At A Glance". Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  13. ^ "Tuition and Fees: Lexington Catholic High School". 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  14. ^ "Lexington Christian Academy - Tuition Information". 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  15. ^ "Sayre School Financial Bulletin". 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  16. ^ 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
  17. ^ "Thomas Edward Hayden". Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Interview Ajudd; Tops in Lex". Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  19. ^ "Educators: Katherine Pettit". Women in Kentucky. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 

External links[edit]