Triplets and four sets of twins take the very top honors at their Georgia high schools.

UPDATED a 11:45 a.m with news that Luella High in Henry also has twins in the top slots.

UPDATED at 2 p.m with news that triplets took the top three slots at Upson-Lee High School.

UPDATED at 3:34 p.m. with news that twins took the top honors at Franklin High School.

Bill Maddox of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education pointed me to these two news story, which he thought were worth noting. I agree. The valedictorians and salutatorians at Grovetown High School in Columbia County and at Clarke Central High in Athens are twins.

In addition, I am awaiting details from Henry County where twin brothers are the valedictorian and salutatorian at Luella High School. Sheldon C. Scoggins  is valedictorian; his brother Brennan M. Scoggins is salutatorian.

I just confirmed a twin valedictorian/salutatorian at Franklin High School. According to principal Wayne Randall, Scout Josey is valedictorian and her sister Kate is salutatorian. They are the twin daughters of Ricky and Angie Josey of Canon, Ga.

And I have learned that the Williams triplets are in the top three slots at Upson-Lee High School. Their older brother was the valedictorian in 2009. To the parents of these four accomplished Williams children, whatever you are doing, teach the rest of us.

According to the Thomaston Times story about the Upson-Lee triumvirate:

Nicole Williams was named valedictorian, and her sister, Lauren Williams, was named salutatorian. The Williams sisters are two/thirds of a set of triplets and their brother, Jonathan Kyle Williams, had the third highest average. Their older brother, Ryan Williams, was the Valedictorian for the Class of 2009 and is now attending UGA, which the triplets have indicated they plan to attend as well.

They are the children of Ms. Deborah Williams and Dr. Ben Williams. The Valedictorian is the senior with the highest numeric average who has completed all Honors Courses and has taken or currently enrolled in 3 of the 4 AP core subject classes. (3rd nine week grades are included) The student must have been enrolled at ULHS for both semesters of Junior and Senior Year. The Salutatorian is the senior with the second highest numeric average and the same criteria as for Valedictorian.

In Columbia County, congrats to the Chizmar sisters, their teachers and parents. In Clarke County, congrats to the Broocks sisters, their teachers an parents.

Here is a story from abut the Broocks twins from the Athens Banner-Herald:

Mika, the valedictorian, posted an average of 101 on Clarke Central’s grade scale — just about a half-point higher than sister Nina, the salutatorian. Best friends as well as sisters, they’ll remain together after high school. Both are headed to Massachusetts, with scholarships to Wellesley College near Boston.

The only children of Athens’ Martin and Kazuko Broocks, the sisters plan to take some classes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well, as they pursue a passion for science — particularly biological sciences. One day, they may do medical research, but for now they just want to explore.

“There’s so much to learn in science,” Nina Broocks said. “History already happened.”

The sisters aren’t always thinking the same thing and they’re not exactly identical — at least not to people who know them. Nina is noticeably taller, for example.

But they do share a special bond, and they’re in no hurry to lose it. Teachers and school administrators often made it a point to put them in separate classes during their elementary school years. But in high school, they’ve taken almost every class together.

“One year, I couldn’t get in Latin I, so I took a computer class instead,” Nina Broocks said.

And here is an excerpt from a story about the other smart duo from the Columbia County News-Times:

Emily and Erin Chizmar, both 18, respectively attained the first and second spots of their senior class with smarts and a strong sense of competition.

“When the (school) year started I think I was fourth in the my class,” Emily recalled. “I remember going to all my teachers and telling them, ‘Hey, I need a 100 in your class so I can be valedictorian.’”

But that sense of competition doesn’t extend to each other. “We’re more competitive with ourselves,” Erin said.

In addition to salutatorian, Erin also is Grovetown High’s STAR Student. Erin noted, though, that Emily is a Georgia Scholar for the school. “It all kind of balanced out,” Erin said of the pair’s academic accolades.

The twins said they both will attend the University of Georgia in the fall and plan to live in the same dorm. Erin wants to study international affairs and hopes one day to become a diplomat for the United Nations. Emily wants to study math to become a theoretical mathematician, biomedical engineer or physicist.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

36 comments Add your comment

Dr. John Trotter

May 17th, 2012
11:07 am

Congratulations to these young ladies!

Truth in Moderation

May 17th, 2012
11:12 am

“Emily recalled. “I remember going to all my teachers and telling them, ‘Hey, I need a 100 in your class so I can be valedictorian.”



May 17th, 2012
11:15 am

Best Wishes!


May 17th, 2012
11:20 am

There is a set of twins at Luella High School in Henry County.


May 17th, 2012
11:38 am

Just proves that genetics does indeed play a major role in learning…congratulations!!!

Dory Hunky

May 17th, 2012
11:44 am

Looks like tyrace couldn’t even get into UGA.

Last Word

May 17th, 2012
11:55 am

mift: Can’t you READ?!!!

Maureen Downey

May 17th, 2012
11:56 am

@mift, I did add that, but waiting for Henry to send me the names of the boys.


May 17th, 2012
12:07 pm

Are you saying two brains are better than one?

William Casey

May 17th, 2012
12:17 pm

It seems to me that we should encourage these parents to have more sets of twins! Bravo to all involved.


May 17th, 2012
12:19 pm

It’s not high school, but at Southern Polytechnic, a set of twins (Joshua and Isaiah Gober) were both awarded the President’s Distinguished Scholar award at their graduation, presented annually to the student with the highest GPA.


May 17th, 2012
12:20 pm

Same is true from Upson-Lee High School in Thomaston, GA – see article link here

Twist – it’s a set of triplets and the girls’ brother was actually 3rd in the graduating class.

Steve Long

May 17th, 2012
12:36 pm

Upson-Lee High School Principal Tracy Caldwell announced the senior class of 2012 honor graduates on Wednesday, March 28. Nicole Williams was named Valedictorian, and Lauren Williams was named Salutatorian. The Valedictorian is the senior with the highest numeric average who has completed all Honors Courses and has taken or is currently enrolled in 3 of the 4 AP core subject classes. (3rd nine week grades are included.) The student must have been enrolled at ULHS for both semesters of Junior and Senior Year. The Salutatorian is the senior with the second highest numeric average. (Same criteria as for Valedictorian) Upson-Lee High School. Jonathan is their brother and they are triplets.


May 17th, 2012
12:37 pm

This is also the case at Franklin County High School this year.

Double Zero Eight

May 17th, 2012
12:44 pm

Seems to me that this is proof that parental influence
is the focal point for success, and “trumps’ any other
factor. The teachers are a close second.


May 17th, 2012
12:50 pm

Only one of them ever went to school at a time. They only recently discovered that twins were involved.

Maureen Downey

May 17th, 2012
2:19 pm

@Matt, Just emailed the principal of Franklin High as I could not find any mention in the local paper or on the school website. Once he responds, I will add.

Maureen Downey

May 17th, 2012
2:20 pm

@Steve. Added these three kids to blog. Thanks.

Dr. John Trotter

May 17th, 2012
2:46 pm

I congratulate the young men too…now that this good story has been updated!


May 17th, 2012
3:01 pm

Congratulations to these students for their exceptional accomplishments! It takes great dedication & perseverance over years to attain those rewards. My dad was a Valedictorian. I, myself, was not even close. :-)

We’ve had a couple sets of twins take the top spots in our county over the years.

Here’s a question for the blog. How many of you noticed the following phenomenon in both media at your local level and at our national level? When a story is about a young person’s exceptional academic success or accomplishment, you often see reference to both mom & dad(usually with everyone sharing a common surname). Whereas, when you see stories about juvenile crime and dysfunction, rarely are both parents mentioned or quoted and often everyone has a different surname.

It’s interesting how that works, huh?

It’s almost like “family” and “parents” are some great predictor of outcome.

Maybe we need to do a study on that. ;-)


May 17th, 2012
3:06 pm

Maureen, thanks for sharing! I hope we will hear more good stories about our students, this month in particular.

I know when my twins graduate, I’ll be saying, “Thank you Lawdy” more than anything else. :) How about you Maureen?

Maureen Downey

May 17th, 2012
3:10 pm

@Ernest, When my twins graduate in five years, I hope I have the energy to leap up and shout thanks; I suspect I will be snoring in a rocker somewhere.


May 17th, 2012
3:18 pm

Better snoring in a rocker than in a padded room, Ms. Downey.

Could someone do a study of what all these parents have in common? Age of parent at children’s birth, educational level, religion, race, SES, parental employment? What beliefs have they used to mold their children?


May 17th, 2012
3:29 pm

While I can’t top these stories, the 3 of us who were BFs starting in 8th grade ended up 1, 2, and 3 at graduation time. Yet, we had little in common, except reasonably bright parents. One was raised by her mother, a secretary, after he father died during testing of an atomic bomb. She was the second born. Another had a dad who was a chemist and a mom who quit college after a year to get married. She was a second born. And then me, with 2 college grad parents (teacher and EE) and no siblings. We had parents with high expectations of us; that’s all I can think of. Maybe we were a little bit competitive, too. I suspect these students are as well.

There is a study out there about successful girls/women. Can’t remember its name.

I would love to get a handle on what these families are doing, and bottle it and infuse some into certain people. I think we strongly suspect it is something going on at home, rather than at school, that has contributed strongly to these students’ success.

At any rate, I love hearing good news like this!

Quick Hits (5.17.12)

May 17th, 2012
4:02 pm

[...] one or two, but… three (!) sets of Georgia twins have earned the valedictorian spots at their respective high schools. (Get [...]


May 17th, 2012
5:37 pm

The Scoggins twins from Luella are great boys. Their mom is the Media Specialist at Luella High. They are both great drummers also. I believe they are both going to Auburn.

William Casey

May 17th, 2012
5:44 pm

There is something to be said for good old family “competitive spirit” as well as genetics. Both of my sisters excelled me in athletics. I took them in academics. Our parents created an atmosphere of “friendly competition.” There is something to be said for that as well.


May 17th, 2012
5:59 pm

Congratulations to these very deserving students–and their parents. I love these stories!

usually lurking

May 17th, 2012
9:37 pm

@TheGoldenRam – you suggest that mom keeping her maiden name is a predictor of poor school performance?

And when you see “stories about juvenile crime and dysfunction” where both parents have the same last name, there is usually a well paid lawyer involved.


May 18th, 2012
9:21 am

Last night was awards night at my school. Twin sisters took top academic honors on their respective teams. These girls are their parents’ only children, and they seem like a very happy family who truly enjoy being with one another. When one of the girl’s also took the school’s top award,I saw nothing but joy and pride on her sister’s face.

I think healthy competition may play a part in situations like these, but I believe that loving encouragement from parents and between siblings and a need to make one’s family proud may be even more important.

Thanks for these stories, Maureen. They brighten the day.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

May 18th, 2012
2:42 pm

CONGRATULATIONS to these outstanding male and female students.

the prof

May 18th, 2012
3:29 pm

I have triplets and hope they, and my older son, do as well as these have!


May 18th, 2012
10:04 pm

I was wrong on the Scoggins twins. They are both going to Georgia Tech. Congratulations to all the graduates!!

Good Mother

May 19th, 2012
9:40 pm

My take on the anomaly of twins is that there are many more twins nowadays and other multiples because they have fertility drugs.
With more multiples, there is a greater chance of them being valedictorian.
I don’t think muliples have any innate ability to be smarter than the rest of the bunch except in college —-
in college I knew two wonderful girls who were identical twins — they had the same courses but took them at different times and they divided up on test days — one took both history tests, the other took both math tests and so on. They divided and conquered and cheated, for sure.
They didn’t need to, they were smart anyway, but still, what a risky way to get a degree.

Good Mother

May 19th, 2012
9:43 pm

Usually lurkng…i think the other poster was thinking about the “never married” mother.
I don’t give a rats axx about anyone’s marital status but the trend is CLEAR in Georgia — “different last name” mother usually means the mother and father are unmarried, poor and uneducated. that’s the norm. I also chose to keep my maiden name, and had children after college graduation, marriage and a solid foothold on my career and finances IN THAT ORDER as we all should. It should be the norm, not the exception.


May 21st, 2012
1:10 am

@GM….it’s not just fertility drugs. Women are waiting longer to have babies. The older you get, the more likely you are to have multiples, even without fertility drugs. Don’t assume all multiples are the product of fertility drugs. They aren’t, not nearly.