World Record-Setting Twins Graduate From Valley
High school commencement serves to recognize the graduates and their achievements. Students wear cords to show which honors they have earned, and families and friends cheer them on as they cross the stage to accept their diplomas.
The students graduating from Valley High School this year have earned many awards that should be recognized, but thirty of the 648 graduates can claim one unique achievement: during their freshman year of high school, they set a Guinness World Records title for Most Twins in the Same Academic Year at One School.
There were 16 sets of twins attending Valley Southwoods at the time; one pair no longer attends the West Des Moines Community School district. Hanna and Julia Anderson, Mason and Quintin Barr, Hannah and Megan Baysinger, Hannah and Noah Clark, Jade and Logan Davis, Giavanna and Roman Dean, Carson and Hunter Feldman, Anna and Samuel Freihage, Jacob and Jeffrey Goetz, Cole and Logan Harvey, Allison and Emily Kacer, Joseph and Joshua McVey, Cole and Cory Mullins, Kaylee and Kyle Olson, and Kayla and Lauren Phalen will all graduate on Sunday, May 24.
The office of school/community relations interviewed some of the remaining twins about graduation, what it is like to be a twin, and that world record. (Quotes have been edited for length and clarity.)
Q: What do you remember about setting the Guinness World Record in 2012? Do you ever bring it up to people?
Jeff Goetz: I remember being surprised because I never knew there was a record for that kind of thing. I don’t really tell people about the record — I am proud of it, and if someone asked, I would tell them about it, but it’s not something I say when I meet someone. I usually just say I’m a twin.
Jake Goetz: For me, this whole experience has been unreal. Basically, what I tell everyone is that it has been a truly amazing experience and definitely something I never thought I would be a part of. It is also a great interesting fact to put on resumes and a great conversation starter.
Allison Kacer: I thought setting the record was the coolest thing ever at the time. I had read the Guinness Book of World Records, but never thought about having the most twins in one class as a record. I remember people talking about it, and it was funny to see what they thought. I do not usually bring it up, but when someone brings it up to me, I am always willing to have a conversation. I usually tell them half came from my elementary school alone, and that shocks them!
Q: What was it like to be a twin in high school? What about being part of a class with so many sets of twins?
Megan Baysinger: Being a twin at Valley is fun. It’s fun to switch classes and see if the teachers notice and to trick the underclassmen into thinking there’s only one of me. Because there are so many of us, and always have been, it’s not something that feels out of the ordinary.
Hannah Baysinger: Being a twin in high school was pretty great. Everyone knows who you are, and it’s fun switching classes. Having a twin in high school means you never have to worry if you won’t get the lab partner you wanted! Being in a class with so many twins felt pretty ordinary since we all grew up together. I never would have noticed we had so many twins if the record never was broken.
Q: What are your future plans? Do you or your twin have similar or different plans?
Hanna Anderson: I will be attending Carleton College to pursue a double major in mathematics/statistics and environmental studies. My twin, Julia, is going to Grinnell College as an undecided major. She has always been into English and sociology, while I am into mathematics. We always knew we would go to different colleges, but now that it is official, we are actually having a lot of anxiety. Julia’s been my best friend for 18 years, and she is the only person I can be my weird self around. It will be rough to start the “getting to know you” stages of college since we have always had each other to hang out with. This will be the first time we will be separated. It is exciting because, realistically, we can’t be together forever, but it is sad to think about how much I will miss her.
Q: Do you have any words of wisdom for next year’s seniors or other twins at Valley?
Joshua McVey: To the twins, no matter what happens in life, remember you have the special other. They are going to drive you to do better. And for incoming seniors, know your priorities. We all like to have fun, but make sure you know what comes first.
The record the students set in 2012 has since been broken, but they have continued to earn recognition during their time at Valley High School. They have earned 25 honors between them and are involved in a wide variety of activities, from orchestra to student government and various sports. Please join us in congratulating these 30 students and the rest of the Valley High School Class of 2015 as they graduate this Sunday, May 24.