Sarah Linehan likes mathematics because the discipline is consistent and she can see patterns in the numbers. Besides, it’s fun.

Linehan is one of 260 Scarborough High School seniors set to graduate on Sunday, June 5,  at the Portland Expo. Like the majority of her clasmatess, Linehan is attending college. In her case, she’ll be at Yale University in the fall.

Salutatorian of her class, Linehan, 18, is also one of a handful of National Merit Scholars from Maine.

She will receive a $2,500 scholarship from the National Merit Scholarship Corp. She was designated as a Merit Scholar based on her SAT scores, her academic standing and her contributions to her school and community.

Yale was Linehan’s first choice of school, but she also applied to more than 20 universities and colleges across the country. Her goal is to study biomedical engineering, or math or both.

Her twin sister, Rachel, is also graduating from Scarborough High this weekend and will be attending Bentley University in the fall.

Sarah and Rachel are fraternal twins, and Sarah said that while the two have shared a room their whole lives, they’re completely different, with different interests, “so it’s good we’re going to different schools.”

Sarah’s older brother, Michael, is studying engineering at the University of Maine and graduated from Scarborough High three years ago. Sarah’s parents are Diane and Michael Linehan. Her mother works as an insurance auditor and her father is the operations manager at the Siemans plant in Scarborough – clearly, a love for numbers is in her DNA.

Linehan is interning at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute, where she is studying multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that affects bone marrow.

At school, Linehan was a member of the Math Team, the Science Bowl, the Interact Club and the National Honor Society and president of Storm for a Cure, a club dedicated to raising funds for cancer research.

Her grandmother suffered from lung cancer and Linehan said studying cancer is “just interesting and also really important.”

She’s also taken college-level math courses at both Southern Maine Community College and the University of Southern Maine. In addition to all that, Linehan is a manager at the Burger King restaurant in South Portland, where she plans to work full time this summer.

Linehan chose to attend Yale because when she visited the New Haven, Conn., campus, “the students all seemed really happy, and I liked the artsy atmosphere. It seemed like a place where I could get a truly well-rounded education.”

She said there are about 1,000 students in the freshman class, which will be different from Scarborough High. But, Linehan is planning an ambitious program that includes joining a number of different student clubs. She also hopes to continue her research work.

The clubs she’s most interested in at Yale include rock climbing and engineering. Linehan also hopes to join the aerospace association, which builds rockets, quadcopters and various other propulsion systems for fun.

Linehan said what she’ll miss most about living in Scarborough are her friends, who all come from different groups within the school. She said that after growing up together, it will be hard to say goodbye.

And while she’s a bit nervous about going off to college, Linehan said Scarborough High has prepared her well academically, particularly with the number of advanced placement classes that are available to students as juniors and seniors.

As salutatorian, Linehan will give a speech at graduation, although as of last week she still wasn’t exactly sure what the content would be.

“It’s in a pretty rough format right now,” she said with a laugh.

Even so, Linehan is looking forward to graduation and a new tradition that’s starting at Scarborough High this year.

On Thursday, June 2, the graduating class will walk around the track receiving high fives and congratulations from teachers and students at Scarborough Middle and Wentworth schools.

The community can also attend, but will be confined to the bleachers. When asked about the new Senior Send Off, Linehan said, “It should be fun and pretty cool. It seems like a good tradition to start.”

A closer look

Scarborough High School will hold graduation at 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 5, at the Portland Expo, located at 239 Park Ave. Call 730-5000 for more information.

Sarah Linehan is one of 260 students graduating from Scarborough High School on Sunday. She’s the salutatorian and is off to Yale in the fall.


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