May 25, 2012

Arlington's Martin High School graduating class may set record for twins and triplets

Forty-two of Martin High School's 827 seniors preparing to graduate next week are twins or triplets, and that makes the Class of 2012 a possible Guinness world record holder.

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It's grads doubled and tripled at Arlington's Martin High School.

Forty-two of the 827 seniors preparing to graduate next week are twins or triplets, and that makes the Class of 2012 a possible Guinness world record holder for the most multiple-birth students in a graduating class.

Martin's 18 sets of twins and two sets of triplets top the current record holders, a 2011 class in Iowa with 14 sets of twins and three sets of triplets.

Lezlee Williams, a computer multimedia teacher at Martin, first noticed the phenomenon when she had two sets of twins in a class.

"I asked if they knew of any more in their class, and they came up with 13 sets just off the top of their heads," said Williams, who teamed with a triplet mom, Kay Weeks, an adjunct English teacher at Martin, to document all the twos and threes.

The siblings dressed as pairs and trios and led cheers at Friday's Senior Send-off in the gym, then posed for pictures in the cafeteria.

Every set and every sibling has a unique story.

'It's never boring'

Identical twins Hayley and Hunter Moore, 17, don't appear alike from a distance: Hayley's hair is their natural blond, but Hunter's is brunet.

"I went through a phase my freshman year and dyed it," said Hunter, who kept the look and says she is the more laid-back of the two. "Everybody sees us as opposites anyway."

Hayley tried it too but reverted to her natural color.

"It didn't fit my personality," she said. "I'm more bubbly and outgoing."

Jarrett Way, 18, was the only solo in the group picture because twin brother Jason was serving as the class DJ during the tumultuous gym pep rally.

"He's a little busy now," Jarrett said, adding that Jason is usually not one to leave him in the lurch.

Besides, paths are parting for the Ways.

"I'm going to the University of North Texas, and he's going to Galveston," Jarrett said. "It'll be the first time we've been separated."

The Ramos triplets celebrated their 19th birthday Friday.

"It's never boring -- that's for sure," Lesia said of the triplet experience.

"There's always something," Brianna said.

They were reared by their father, Adrian Jr., a single parent.

As elementary kids, they always stood out in the crowd, brother Adrian III said, "until we saw these guys," he said, gesturing to the Weeks triplets sitting next to them.

"It felt normal to be a multiple," Gena Weeks said. "I didn't think anything of it, but I didn't realize there were that many twins in the graduating class."

She, sister Katie and brother Tommy all participated in the marching band, and before that, they all played soccer.

Katie has many friends among the twins, she said.

"It's cool because we're all close and everything, so I was aware" of the numbers.

And Tommy?

"Well, he's a boy, so I don't think he really cares about it," Gena said.

Guinness claim

Their mother, Kay Weeks, did. She called Guinness and got a claim number. Then she and Williams, the multimedia teacher, joined forces to get the documentation together.

Sara Wilcox, an official with Guinness, verified that the organization has received a claim about Martin High School for most multiple-birth students in a class.

Once all the documentation is in, Guinness will review the claim and determine whether the record was broken.

"Actually we would have had more [multiples], but two sets of twins graduated early," Williams said.

Kay Weeks can't help being proud and a little wistful as her only children prepare to graduate June 2.

"The doctors told me I'd never have kids," Weeks said Friday, "and I said: 'You know what? Don't ever tell me I can't do something.'"

Shirley Jinkins, 817-390-7657

Twitter: @startelegram

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