Kyren Bettencourt will graduate magna cum laude June 9 from Gorham High School. 

GORHAM — Kyren Bettencourt, who will go off to college in Boston this fall, offered an early parting message this week for classmates in the countdown to high school graduation: “It’s important to remember your roots and be thankful.”

She lauded her teachers and school staff. “I’m so grateful for having all the people here,” she said in an interview Monday at the high school. “I’ve had the best teachers.”

But High School Principal Brian Jandreau and his staff are grateful for Bettencourt. She “set the bar” for what he would want for a student, he said. He praised her for her maturity and judgment.

“She’s going to change the world,” Jandreau said.

A straight-A student with an infectious smile, Bettencourt will be among about 200 Gorham seniors who will walk across the Merrill Auditorium stage in Portland at 4 p.m. June 9 to receive diplomas. She will graduate magna cum laude.

Bettencourt is the daughter of Joseph and Heather Bettencourt.

She will continue her education this fall at Northeastern University with eyes focused on a health sciences major. A sports fan, she hopes to reside in a dormitory with a view of Fenway Park. “I love Boston,” she said.

Her sister, Kayleigh, a junior at Brandeis University, will be nearby and Kyren said they’ve drawn close since her sister graduated Gorham in 2016.

Before leaving for college, Bettencourt will work this summer in the office at Gorham’s First Parish Congregational Church, where she has served as a student deacon. She said she’ll earn some “spending money for Boston.”

All of Bettencourt’s school years have been in Gorham, beginning with kindergarten at Narragansett Elementary School.

In high school, she’s been involved in student government. She is vice president of her class and student council president. She served on the School Council for two years and was student representative on the town School Committee for two years.

The self-described math-science student has taken Latin for four years.

Her Latin teacher, Michael Lawrenson, said Wednesday, “Kyren Bettencourt is a girl dynamo, a force of nature, an inexorable young administrator, a crest-gem in the crown of student government, et una latinista mirabilis.  I’m only glad that one day I shall be able to say, ‘I knew her when,’ as she’s sure to make a seismic splash on the post-secondary shore and in the greater world beyond.

“The motto Dux femina facti, applied to Queen Elizabeth I in recognition of the English victory over the Habsburg Armada, we may also apply to our own Kyren Bettencourt—a woman led the enterprise.  Long may she reign.”

In a packed academic schedule, Bettencourt also squeezed in time during the past two semesters for two college courses at the University of Southern Maine. “It’s been busy, but it’s been good,” she said.

She trains for 10Ks and enjoys running races with her family. She likes seafood, camping and the beach. “I like to be outside,” she said.

In mid-June, Bettencourt will attend an orientation program on the Northeastern campus.

It marks a big city beginning, but said she’ll miss Gorham’s small town feel. “I’ll miss all the people,” Bettencourt said.

Robert Lowell can be reached at 780-9089 or email [email protected]

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