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Sayre School student skips three grades, graduates at 14

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Posted at 6:36 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 12:24:10-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Thousands of high school seniors in Lexington will soon turn their tassels from right to left as they embark on their next chapter.

One of those seniors isn't 17 or 18 years old like his classmates. Sam Quintero is 14, but the newest graduate of Sayre School. Quintero enjoys learning, cooking, and traveling. He's also quite the piano player.

"I started playing piano, I think it was in first grade, and I didn't really like it then," he said.

Now, he enjoys it and finds it relaxing.

Quintero's teachers and parents say he needed to be challenged at an early age. He skipped fifth, seventh, and twelfth grade.

"I just loved learning and I enjoyed getting new information and that helped me advance through this," he said. "I feel like it's kind of my love of math that has driven me through this."

"I've been at Sayre for 24 years and we've never had anyone even skip two grades to my knowledge," said Randy Mills, who is Sayre's Director of College Counseling.

Quintero will attend the University of Kentucky in the fall.

"I would say the freedom of college," he said when asked what he's excited about. "Like how it's different from school."

"He's kind of our pride and joy and we're able to promote him and walk him across the stage at the age of 14," said Mills.

That means come fall, Quintero will be in classes with students old enough to vote, when he isn't even old enough to get a driver's license in Kentucky yet.

"I don't feel like a 14-year-old," he said. "I feel like a senior."

"I didn't start by skipping off three grades," he said when asked about his advice to others. "I started off by working harder at math. Working harder at the thing that came the best to me."

Quintero says he plans to study mechanical engineering at UK.