Steamboat Springs Michael Savory knows a thing or two about packing up and leaving town.
Savory, a recent Steamboat Springs High School graduate, stellar student, multi-sport athlete and a leader of the Sailors’ Class of 2011, was born in California. He then moved with his family to Saudi Arabia; Texas; Alberta, Canada; England, outside London; back to Saudi Arabia — just before Sept. 11, 2001 — then to Madrid, Spain; and, finally, to Steamboat Springs, in time for seventh grade.
His father is in the oil business and worked on projects that would take about two years each, at locations around the world.
Savory’s travels didn’t stop after he arrived in Steamboat. He participated in an eighth-grade exchange program to Sweden and has joined mission trips to Africa and the Dominican Republic, with the United Methodist Church of Steamboat Springs.
He’s joining another mission trip this summer to Jamaica.
Even with all those stamps on his passport, the Yampa Valley is closest to his heart.
“Steamboat is definitely the place I call home,” he says.
But after about seven years here — his longest stint in one location — Savory, 18, is preparing for another big change of scenery.
He’ll begin his freshman year at Rice University in Houston in the fall to study chemical engineering. His parents, Kathy and Don, met at Rice and eventually married in its chapel. The couple celebrated their 35th anniversary in May.
Savory says his latest departure is bittersweet.
“I’ve really enjoyed high school,” he says. “It gave me a lot of opportunity and was a lot of fun.”
Savory participated in several extra-curricular academic and leadership programs while playing four seasons of football and two seasons each of baseball and lacrosse.
Bob Hiester, his lacrosse coach and calculus teacher, says Savory brought similar attributes to both disciplines.
“The thing that has impressed me is how hard he works, both at mathematics and lacrosse,” Hiester says. “His persistence and hard work are as good as anybody I’ve had.”
High school Principal Kevin Taulman also has plenty of praise for Savory. “He’s a great role model,” Taulman says. “He’s the kind of high school student you want your kids to look up to and try to emulate.”
Savory says he’ll miss the local community. “I really feel at home here,” he says. “Houston is the fourth-biggest city in the nation. I feel like I’ll get lost, like a little fish in a big ocean.”
No matter how big the ocean, odds are that this well-traveled Sailor will find his way.