Gorham senior expecting tears to flow

GORHAM – As a new student in Gorham entering the fourth grade, Rona Sayed worried about making new friends.

Now, the high school senior said she expects to “get teary” when she and her friends bid their goodbyes at a ceremony on Sunday, June 8, at 4 p.m., at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, when the 205 members of the Gorham High School class of 2014 graduate.

“I’m an emotional person,” Sayed said on Monday at the high school. “Emotions will hit when we’re on stage.”

Gorham High School Principal Christopher Record praised Sayed this week. “Rona is a tremendous school citizen,” Record said. “She truly cares about the school and her classmates.”

A magna cum laude student, Sayed plans to attend the University of Southern Maine for a semester and then transfer to American University in Washington, D.C.

“I plan on majoring in international affairs or business and minor in French,” she said.

Sayed studied French all four years at Gorham High School.

“She is a dedicated student, always prepared for class and she never hesitates to pose a question or ask for clarification,” French teacher Marc Paradis said. “She always exceeded my expectations in all aspects of my classes.”

Besides French, Sayed studied Mandarin Chinese at Gorham High School. She can read Arabic. She speaks Pashto, the native language in Afghanistan, where her parents originated. Sayed is the daughter of Ghulam Ali and Fawzia.

She said her parents migrated from Afghanistan because of political reasons during the Russian occupation of their homeland. Sayed was born in New Jersey and transferred to the Gorham school system from Portland.

She said Gorham was “very welcoming” and the schools are “top-notch,” and she lauded the high school.

“I love it,” she said.

She was involved in several clubs, was class treasurer, secretary of the School Council, and a National Honor Society member. She was an honor roll student all four years and also served as a teacher’s assistant for Paradis.

“Her creativity manifests itself in her writing and her ability to analyze and solve problems,” Paradis said. “She is intellectual, articulate, caring and conscientious.”

Sayed recently served as an intern at Idexx in Westbrook. There, she job shadowed, listened and helped with packaging. It was “a very good experience,” she said.

“I will really miss her enthusiasm, positive attitude and excellent sense of humor. I am sure she will be successful in any endeavor she undertakes. Paradis said.

In recent academic awards, Sayed was recognized for excellence in social studies electives and French 4.

Sayed has written a five-verse poem that she’ll recite at Senior Recognition Night on Thursday, June 5.

She sees graduation as the beginning of a new chapter in life. “I wish the best of luck to all my peers and the class of 2014,” Sayed said.

Record said, “Her positive attitude brightens GHS on a daily basis. It has been a privilege to have her as a student. We look forward to watching her success.”


Gorham High School graduation ceremonies will be held Sunday, June 8, at 4 p.m., at Merrill Auditorium in Portland.

Magna cum laude student Rona Sayed graduates on Sunday, June 8, from Gorham High School. She’ll continue her education, majoring in international affairs. “We will look forward to watching her success,” said Christopher Record, principal.