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Teen gifted in multiple areas

May 04, 2007|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HEDGESVILLE, W.VA. - Jonathan Frye's talents range from music to understanding complicated mathematical formulas.

A top performer at Hedgesville High School, the 18-year-old will pursue those interests after graduation this year. Frye will enroll at West Virginia University and study physics, music and philosophy.

And he'll even have a little help paying for it.

Frye's good grades and community involvement made him this year's recipient of the U.S. Silica Co.'s four-year college scholarship.

The $16,000 scholarship is to be used for tuition, books, equipment and fees, and Frye was chosen from a group of 14 applicants nationwide, a U.S. Silica representative said. Frye's father is an employee at the company's Berkeley Springs, W.Va., location.

Frye said, that from an early age, math and science came easily to him. He has a particular interest in physics.

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"It's interesting seeing how the world works together," he said.

He's been taking guitar lessons recently and said he hopes to continue that through college, and maybe even start a band. Frye said music is more of a hobby and a way to relax than a potential career.

He's taken many advanced courses at Hedgesville High School, including Advanced Placement calculus, statistics and chemistry. He also has taken honors English and the highest level of visual arts offered at his school.

"With math and science, I excel," Frye said. "I just seem to understand it ... the way everything can be solved with applications."

In art, he focuses on painting, but has done some sculpting. Frye said his grade-point average is 4.3, and he was accepted into West Virginia University's honors program.

This school year, he is president of his high school's National Art Honor Society, which is for upper-level art students. The club completes art projects for the school and community, and Frye said he is helping to organize an art show this month.

"We're also working on something to give to the school," he said.

Frye also is a member of the National Honor Society, which celebrates academic excellence, and has been a member of the cross country and track teams at the high school.

"I enjoyed those when I was on (the teams)," he said. "I just shifted toward doing other things."

He said the time commitment was overwhelming since he is involved in many activities at school and in the community.

Frye is a member of Boy Scouts of America, and has an Eagle Scout rank. He said he's been active in the organization since he was about 5 years old and enjoys hiking and camping. The organization has helped with his leadership skills, and he hopes to work this summer as a counselor at a Boy Scouts camp.

"It does help with a lot of skills in life," Frye said.

About one year ago, he began taking guitar lessons.

"You hear all of these songs on the radio, and you think 'I could do that,'" Frye said. "With some practice, you could do that."

He also makes time to help his classmates with their schoolwork and tutors students regularly in math.

"It's just a way to help out," he said. "Some people have more trouble with some subjects than others, and I figure I can help."

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