Five sets of twins graduate together

Five sets of twins graduate together
Group photo of class of 2024 twins

It isn’t unusual for a high school graduating class to include one or two sets of twins every few years, but this year’s senior class at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington might be something for the record books, with five sets of twins walking across the stage.

In a class of 270 students, casually spotting these twins isn’t necessarily easy. Even those who are twins themselves didn’t make the connection that some of their classmates were also twins. There are three sets of brother/sister twins, and one pair each of two brothers and two sisters. 

“We sometimes get confused for each other,” said Erica and Sophia Romualdez, the only set of sisters in the group. They will quickly tell you that their interests and personalities diverge in many ways, but also come together in other ways. For them being twins has meant having somebody who knows you. On a day-to-day basis, it has also meant that there is someone who is there to help with homework and car rides, too. In the fall, Erica is headed to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville to pursue her interests in health care. Sophia will be farther away for the first time, enrolling at Northeastern University in Boston to study psychology and pre-law.

Nate and Zach Harrison are from a military family, and they are used to the ups and downs of starting fresh at a new school. “Having a twin is an additional pathway to making friends,” said Zach. The boys came to O’Connell at the start of their sophomore year and immediately joined the football team. Both earned first team All-WCAC honors in their senior year.

“When you are coaching twins you might initially think they operate in similar ways,” said coach Todd Sabatino. “Once I got to know them, I learned that they are indeed unique individuals (who) thrive under different sets of conditions.” Nate has committed to play football at Ave Maria University in Florida this fall. He plans to study sports medicine. Zach is headed to the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where he will be playing football and pursuing a degree in business.

Haydn and Hudson House also appreciate the overlapping friend groups that have come with being in school with a twin. As their activities diverged — she is on the rowing team and he plays baseball— they still found a great deal of crossover in their social life. Asked about any downsides to being twins in the same high school, Haydn and Hudson emphatically said there were none. Haydn is headed to Auburn University in Alabama where she is pursuing a degree in business, Hudson is still considering his options for playing baseball at the next level.

For Isabella Vasseva and Nikola Vassev, having slightly different last names has thrown some of their classmates off. But once the two of them are together and you witness them finishing each other’s thoughts, it is clear that they are siblings. The two are pleased to say that they have had “an automatic best friend in school,” and that they are happy to have had each other to go through many “firsts” together. Their interests are quite different. Isabella, who enjoys reading, has been involved in student leadership and dance, while Nikola is interested in sports and learning new languages. They are both enrolling at George Washington University in Washington this fall. She will study sociology/pre-law and he will dive into international business.

Another set of twins heading off to the same college are Eva and Miles Woodcock. The two admit to being competitive, “but in a good way.” When Eva teases her brother about her academic honors — she is the class salutatorian — he shoots back quickly that he helped her get there. Miles definitely is equally accomplished, being named a National Merit finalist earlier this year. Outside the classroom Eva has pursued success in volleyball, soccer and track, while Miles prefers the golf course. Through all of this, the two are great friends and they will both study engineering at the University of Virginia this fall.

At the end of the day, all 10 of these O’Connell seniors have an enormous appreciation for the gift that their siblings bring to their everyday life. Receiving their diplomas together is just another milestone in their joint journeys. As their paths diverge in the years to come, their bonds of friendship and mutual support will certainly grow in all new ways.