05/30/04 — Graduation -- Moving forward two-by-two

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Graduation -- Moving forward two-by-two

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 30, 2004 9:17 AM

Seven sets of twins graduated from Southern Wayne High School this year. So it was only fitting that the first person to cross the stage for a diploma and the last were each part of a twin-set.

When the News-Argus learned of the unique situation, the school was contacted to arrange an interview with the 14 seniors. Kerri Loury, counselor at the school, was among those surprised by the realization.

For the administrators and students caught off-guard by this revelation, it was likely because not all of the twins are identical. And one set is a brother and sister.

Even if siblings are born simultaneously, for as many similarities as they share, there are an equal number of differences.

In the case of those in the southern end of the county's Class of 2004, there are those who dress alike, share the same classes and switch places to avoid getting into trouble. There are also those who have fought to carve out their own identities while remaining fiercely loyal to one another.

Three sets of twins plan to attend Wayne Community College and prepare for the health field. The other four sets envision diverse paths ahead.

Edward and Jessica Aguilar, 17, have spent a good deal of time apart already. Edward was diagnosed with leukemia last year and while hospitalized at Duke for nearly a year, received a bone marrow transplant.

The situation thrust Jessica into the role of mothering her two younger brothers and a sister so that their mother, Isabel, could spend time at the hospital while their father, Fortunata, worked. She also took a full load of classes that included honors courses.

Edward says he is doing well these days and plans to attend Wayne Community College in the fall to study mechanical engineering. Jessica has applied to the Art Institute of Charlotte to enter the field of culinary arts.

Laccarro and Taccarro Mathis are the 18-year-old daughters of Reginald and Mary Mathis of Goldsboro. Being a twin has its advantages and disadvantages, says Laccarro.

Laccarro participated in ROTC at the school and played basketball. She plans to attend North Carolina State University to study computer science.

Taccarro, a cheerleader, will attend Campbell University to major in graphic design. She is also dating another twin, Brandon Wilson.

She is patient about it but says if one thinks being a twin brings on the questions, they only double when dating someone else who is a twin.

Brandon and Ivan Wilson, 18, may look alike but are opposites, teachers say. The sons of Brenda Simpson of Mount Olive say they now value being different.

"We used to switch classes and trade places when we were younger," Brandon said.

But as they got older, Ivan said, "we started looking for our own identities."

That will likely get easier as the brothers carve out their own college careers at different schools. Brandon will attend Chowan College to study residential design and small business management; Ivan is going to Belmont Abbey.

The 18-year-old sons of Bobby and Debbie Singleton will stay in Wayne County. B.J. will study at Wayne Community College, and Brian will work as an operator at Bussmann Division in Goldsboro.

Of the remaining three sets, all girls, two are identical and one fraternal. All intend to go to Wayne Community College, five to become registered nurses and the other to study dental hygiene.

Linda and Brenda Lancaster don't look exactly alike, but the confusion will be lessened since Linda wants to study nursing while her sister attends classes to work in dentistry. The 18-year-olds are the children of Terry and Dorothy Lancaster of Goldsboro.

There is also a third sister in her 20s. The twins say there is such a strong resemblance, that when the three are out together, people think they're triplets.

Identical twins Synita and Syreeta Wooten, 18, have shared the same class schedule for years and will continue to do so when they enter the nursing program in the fall. The daughters of Betty Dawson of Dudley and Leonard Broadhurst of Goldsboro claim to get along well despite all the questions and comments about the subject.

"We're always asked if we're twins," Syreeta said. "It's aggravating."

Mendy Marcin, a history teacher at Southern Wayne who has taught the sisters, say they talk alike and even their test grades are typically within five points of one another.

Jamie and Jessica Lovelace, 17-year-old daughters of Miranda and Jimmy Lovelace of Dudley, are also identical and played softball during their high school career. They plan to continue the same career path of becoming registered nurses.