HHS student honored for test scores, dual enrollment



Hattiesburg High School junior Owen Sayre was recognized with a Certificate of Excellence at September’s Hattiesburg Public School Board of Trustees regular meeting for achieving the top score on Advanced Placement (AP) exams in Microeconomics and United States Government and Politics.

According to The College Board website, 11.2 percent of students nationally scored a 5 on the United States Government and 21.5 percent on the Microeconomics examinations, said Hattiesburg School District Associate Superintendent Teresa Poole.

Sayre is also dually enrolled in a political theory class at the University of Southern Mississippi.

“We’re very proud of Owen's outstanding achievement,” Poole said. “His scores show that he is extremely well-qualified for introductory courses on the college level.”

Sayre said he’s always been interested in the fields of economics and political science, and plans to pursue studies in political theory and economics in college, though he’s also interested in ontological philosophy, rhetorical studies and critical pedagogy. His career interests include becoming a professor, working with a think tank and participating in politics.

 “I believe hard work ought to be recognized for everyone at the school, and that recognition is a vital incentive for any school to excel,” Sayre said. “For that reason, I’m proud of this honor.”

Sayre’s inspiration for his academic and career interests come from his parents, both professors at USM; his participation in Hattiesburg High School’s award-winning debate program, for which he serves as a captain; and classes he is enrolled in at HHS and USM. He is also a captain for the high school’s soccer team.

“My parents study economics and rhetoric. In my debate career, I have been competing in Lincoln-Douglas debate for the past two years, and that has also guided my interests in large part, because it requires understanding of all the fields I’m interested in,” Sayre said. “My introduction to these fields through the classes I’ve taken, and the subsequent AP tests, have also served as inspiration.”

 Sayre also credits his success to the guidance of his parents and teachers, including HHS forensics and debate coach Scott Waldrop, and his 9th grade English teacher, Jerid Woods.

 “Without him (Waldrop), I probably wouldn't have gotten into debate, and for that I am thankful. Mr. Woods challenged me early on to think critically about the world, and question assumptions,” Sayre said. “Outside of school, my parents are mentors who have supported my academic pursuits, and encourage me to share ideas I am interested in.”