It’s telling that Kennebunk High School administrators recommended Kylie Reynolds for the Sunday Telegram’s annual “Graduates to Watch” feature even before they were asked.

She’s a standout not only for challenging herself academically at school, taking both Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes, but also for her work in the community, caring for preschool children, special education students and seniors, and for her active role at home, helping to raise adopted siblings who have disabilities.

“It’s a busy household,” Reynolds said. “There are 10 of us, and I’m really the only one who helps my mom.”

Through the years, Reynolds’ parents, Marcia Walker and Warren Reynolds, cared for more than 10 foster children. They adopted two of them, Mark, now 14, who has autism and fetal alcohol syndrome, and Nevaeh, 9, who has behavioral challenges. And another foster child, who is in her 20s and has two young children of her own, has rejoined the family.

Now divorced, Reynolds’ mother, who works both as a child care provider and a senior home care aide, recently began studying full time for an associate degree in behavioral health at York County Community College. It’s something Walker couldn’t do without her daughter’s help, but it’s Reynolds who admires her mom’s drive.

“She’s 49 and she’s going back to school,” Reynolds said. “It’s pretty amazing. She’s my superwoman.”

Reynolds also admires her brother Mark, working closely with him in the special education classroom at the Middle School of the Kennebunks, where she’s had an internship. She was there every other day from 11 a.m. to noon, preparing for her career of choice – Reynolds will attend the University of Maine at Farmington in the fall and plans to study special education for children in kindergarten through eighth grade.

“I love my brother to death,” Reynolds said. “I’ve seen him grow. I’ve watched all of his therapy sessions – physical, occupational, speech.”

Given her experience with her brother and other special education students, where others see only disabilities, Reynolds sees possibilities.

“They have such an excitement when they accomplish something,” Reynolds said. “They have a different compassion for people. My brother may be brutally honest about some things, but he really cares about people’s feelings. He cares about people’s safety a lot. And he loves me to death.”

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