Record Breakers: Double Take
It's not that Miranda Gilliam is forgetful. But the English teacher at J.J. Pearce High School has had to devise tricks to keep the names of some students straight. "I usually sit them next to each other, alphabetically," says Gilliam. "Conner Short, for example, sits in front of Travis Short. And during moments of confusion, I just say, 'The Brothers Short!'"
The shorthand is understandable, considering that the Richardson, Texas, high school made the Guinness World Records 2011 book for the most multiples in one grade: 10 sets of twins and 1 set of triplets (some of whom were conceived with the help of fertility treatments). The double takes don't stop there: The school has a total of 32 sets of multiples, not including 4 teachers who are each a twin. "Half the time people are calling you the wrong name," Chris McReynolds, 17, says of being addressed as his twin brother, William. "But you learn to answer to both." Assistant Principal Chakosha Powell and parent Reta McKee realized the Guinness honor was theirs for the taking when a parent saw on the news that the last published record stood at eight sets for one class. "We were like, 'Eight? That's it?!?!,'" says Powell.
With a host of lookalikes roaming the halls, it's hard for students to resist a bit of fun. "My sister and I swapped classrooms once," admits junior Kelly McKee, 17, who pulled the classic switcheroo with her twin, Lindsey. "They only caught us because the kids told on us. Here being a twin is normal." Still, administrators remain perplexed as to why so many multiples ended up at the same school. Says Powell: "Everybody keeps asking what was in the water here in Richardson."
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