Mesa school embraces fun and challenges of twins — all 6-8 pairs of them - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Mesa school embraces fun and challenges of twins — all 6-8 pairs of them

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Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013 7:18 am

Forgive teachers at Christ the King Catholic School in Mesa if they’ve experienced a unique form of “double vision” the last few school years

Last year, with 212 students enrolled, 8 percent of its student body was represented by a twin. This year, with three sets of twins moving onto high school, that percentage went down, but is still noticeable on campus, school officials say.

“We had eight sets of twins at the school last year, which is really high,” said Shelly Conner, principal at Christ the King Catholic School, 1551 E. Dana Ave.

This year, with the seniors moving on, Conner notes the school currently has one set twins in pre-kindergarten (identical twin girls), one set in kindergarten (identical twin boys), one set in first grade, fraternal boy-girl twin sets both second and fifth grades, and a set of twin boys in sixth grade.

“Twins in 2nd, 4th and 5th grade are welcome to apply, Connor added.

While having twins can be a struggle, there is no doubt it brings a lot of fun into a family and school’s daily life. Connor said Christ the King Catholic School — voted earlier this year East Valley’s “best private school” by Tribune readers — is delighted to have so many twin sets enrolled, and there are many good memories.

Ms. Thayer, a fourth grade teacher at the school, laughed as she shared a few stories.

“There was a time when one set of identical girl twins decided to switch shoes and act like each other all day,” she said.” “They went through the whole day acting like their twin. The funny part is that I had no clue they were trying to confuse me because they were identical and at this school we wear identical uniforms.”

Another set of twins, this time boys, decided to confuse Ms. Thayer on the same day. The brothers each went into a closet as one boy and came out as the other. Then, during math class, one boy would come up for assistance and less than a minute later the other boy would come up too. Or so the teacher thought, turns out it was the same boy asking all the questions.

“At the end of the day it was a good laugh for the class and for myself and one of my best memories,” Thayer said.

Although having six — or even eight — sets of twins in one school the size of Christ the King could be some sort of record, schools today appear to be more commonly noticed for the number of twins attending their campuses.

A school in Tennessee was recently reported as having 15 sets of twins, with twins equaling 5 percent of the total student body. Currently, only about 2 percent of the total U.S. population is made up of twins, about 4.5 million people.

According to a January 2012 New York Times report that recognized a study on twins from 1980-2009, the rate of twin births over that time rose 76 percent, with 137,217 babies in 2009 “born as twins, 4,905 as triplets, 355 as quadruplets, and 80 in births of five or more.”

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