Mountain Valley’s top two students headed to Washington, Boston

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RUMFORD — McKenzie Kaubrys and Chelsea Fortin were accepted at their dream colleges.

McKenzie, Mountain Valley High School’s valedictorian for the Class of 2010, will attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in the fall. Chelsea, the class salutatorian, will be a freshman at Boston University.

Getting exactly what they wanted didn’t come easy. Both girls have worked hard, volunteered, been members of various organizations, and maintained a discipline that helped them earn their top status.

“I was brought up having no question about going to college, but there was no pressure” said Chelsea, who also has a twin sister, Patricia, who placed sixth in her class. “When I was a freshman, I decided to try different things, but I always knew I’ve wanted something in science or math. You can do so much with it.”

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Chelsea, 17, plans to major in cell and molecular genetics with a goal of becoming a medical researcher. Her twin sister will also be a student at Boston University, majoring in neuroscience, but won’t live in the same dorm room, she said.

“My family has a history of cancer and diabetes,” she said of one of the main reasons she wants to go into research.

McKenzie, 18, is thinking of going into law, or some other field that would prepare her to travel the world and perhaps work at the United Nations.

“I want to do something meaningful,” she said.

Her older sister, Molly, is attending college at American University, also in Washington, D.C.

Both young women credit their teachers, particularly history teacher Chris Carver and English teacher Jim Aylward, for some of their success.

“They don’t just talk about the subject, but also ask how things are going,” McKenzie said. “The teachers are available anytime and are really invested in our futures. They know more about us than just our grades. They care.”

She also believes the teachers at Holy Savior School provided a strong educational background.

“There are a lot of really good teachers,”  McKenzie said.

“When I was a freshman, I knew I was capable of keeping good grades. I just had to keep myself motivated. I want to do the best I can.”

She is the daughter of Jack and Mary Kaubris of Rumford. Her last name is spelled a little differently than her parents because her father wanted his children to have the real spelling of the Lithuanian name.

Chelsea said of her future, “I want to show people that it could be better.”

She is the daughter of Trina Fortin, and Mark Fortin, who is deceased.

McKenzie wants undergraduates to stay curious.

“And keep questioning everything. Don’t accept limits,” she said.

Both young women work part time, are members of the National Honor Society, play musical instruments, study dance, play sports and are members of the Interact Club, a youth group of the Rotary. Chelsea is also a member of the school’s math team, and McKenzie is Student Council president.

The Mountain Valley High School Class of 2010 will graduate at 6 p.m. June 12.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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