‘Give me an equation to solve, and I’m happy’
National Merit Semifinalist Wyatt Spivey loves to engineer solutions ranging from baseball to equations
If you want to catch up with Wyatt Spivey, you’d better put your running shoes on.
Wyatt, who was named a National Merit Semifinalist this fall, has so many interests, he has to move fast. He loves playing baseball, piano and violin. He is a math whiz, science scholar, an avid reader and a history buff. But even more than his scholarly pursuits, Wyatt is known for his work ethic, depth of character, and profound faith.
“He works really hard, he is good-natured, and he is smart as a whip,” Principal Heath Jarvis says. “He’s been given a tremendous gift, and yet, he is also incredibly humble.”
If you spend more than a few minutes with Wyatt, three subjects will often arise: his faith, his family, and Texas A&M.
Keeping things in the right order: faith, family, everything else
“I can’t wait to be an Aggie,” Wyatt says with a grin, remembering his many trips to Texas A&M with his family. His father, Jason, who graduated from GHS in 1990 and worked at L3-Harris Technologies as an engineer, died in January. “My dad was an Aggie, and I see his ring every day. He definitely had the Aggie spirit. I’ll never forget being with him at Kyle Field, waving the towel. Man, I have that towel hanging in my room. Our favorite game, however, was when A&M beat Alabama 29-24 in 2012. We watched that game on television. That was such a sweet win.”
“He and my mom taught me how to keep things in the right order: faith, family, everything else,” he says.
Wyatt has three little sisters, Lydia, a freshman at GHS, and Lily and Lucy, who both attend Lamar Elementary. His mother, Laurie, says she is proud that Wyatt is following in his father’s footsteps.
"I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Wyatt. I am confident he will cling to the values that his dad and I have instilled in him. More importantly, I trust that he will seek the Lord’s guidance as he makes the numerous decisions required of a young adult,” Laurie says.
At left, Wyatt Spivey points to a picture of his father that hangs in the Greenville High School's Walk of Pride display. In the picture, Jason Spivey, right, kissed a fish goodbye before beginning dissection in a biology class at GHS.
Figuring out how things work
When asked about his favorite classes and teachers, Wyatt quickly rattles off a long list: Electronics with Joel Pitts; U.S. History with Robert Felder; Anatomy and Physiology with Anne Thornton; Baseball and Fellowship of Christian Athletes with Matt Hanson; Math with Stephani Olenski; English with Andrea Wilkinson, and many more. In fact, his fond memories in the classroom stretch back to his kindergarten days in Diane Hamilton’s classroom at Lamar, where he became obsessed with dinosaurs.
But above all else, Wyatt says, he likes to figure out how things work.
“Give me an equation to solve, and I’m happy. I love to work out the numbers and solve the problem,” he says. “In a way, it’s the same with baseball. There are so many intricacies to the game. I always need to be thinking what I’m going to do when they throw the ball to me. Or when I catch it, what’s the plan – where do I throw the ball? I like the communication part, too, when we’re on the field. Then the game changes when you’re at bat. It changes from a team game to a game of 1-on-9, and you’re out there alone.”
Although he is looking forward to starting his college career, Wyatt says he is also savoring his senior year and his life in Greenville.
“It’s got that great small town feel. Everybody knows everybody here, and I know I’ll miss that,” he says. “Sometimes, I wish I could have done even more here. I loved being in robotics from fifth grade on, but eventually, I had to make a choice between robotics and baseball. And I just thought to myself, ‘I’ll probably get a job as an engineer, and that’s what I’ll do most of my life. But I’ll never get to play high school baseball again. So I chose with my heart.’ ”
GHS Electronics Teacher Joel Pitts describes Wyatt as wise beyond his years.
“Wyatt Spivey is a gracious and classy young man. I have witnessed him deal with adversities in his young life that most people won't encounter until later in adulthood,” Pitts says. “Wyatt has my respect and admiration. He has a hunger for knowledge, and understanding and he is committed to the pursuit of both. He embodies the expectation that we hold for students representing Greenville High School.”
Wyatt is one of only 16,000 students chosen from a pool of over 1.5 million juniors who took the Preliminary SAT test in 2018. The semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors with the highest-scoring entrants from each state.
Wyatt will be honored at the Oct. 15 School Board meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the Wesley Martin Administration Building.
We're proud of you, Wyatt, and cannot wait to see what’s next!