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Seeing double — 27 times

More than two-dozen sets of identical twins attend Saugus High

Posted: August 21, 2008 7:57 p.m.
Updated: October 23, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Saugus High School Principal Bill Bolde stands with a few of the 27 sets of twins attending the school this year.

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At first, Health Assistant Susie Warne thought she was seeing double as the same faces kept passing by her station during registration at Saugus High School, but she soon realized that her eyes were fine.
Saugus just has an unusually high number of twins enrolled this year: 27 sets to be exact.

“I take all the first papers when they come in at registration, so I kept thinking I saw the same kid walking by,” Warne said. “We finally started keeping a tally of all the twins, because there were so many.”

But keeping track of the twins didn’t stop a few mix-ups from occurring. When sophomore Alex Davis and his twin brother, Todd, picked up their identification cards on registration day, Alex’s photo was on Todd’s I.D. and Todd’s photo was on Alex’s.

“All my friends were there and they were laughing and saying ‘You’re Todd now!’” Alex said.

Some twins at Saugus like to take classes together and hang out together, while others declare their individuality. Alex and Todd have all seven classes together this year.

“Last year it just happened by accident, but we really liked it, so we arranged to have all our classes together this year,” Alex said. Todd also likes the arrangement.

“It’s like having the other side of my brain with me — if I can’t think of the answer, I’ve got another one of me there to help,” Todd said.

Senior Katherine Stradling and her twin sister, Kimmie, don’t take a lot of classes together, but they like it when they both have the same teacher at different periods.

“It’s fun, because when the second one of us walks in the teacher gets so confused,” Katherine said.

Being mistaken for the other sister is just something that happens all the time, Kimmie said.

“It’s interesting, but it has been happening all our lives,” Kimmie said.

“I have two names, Katherine and Kimmie, and I answer to both,” Katherine added.

Apparently twins even have trouble telling other twins apart. One of the Stradling sisters was Alex’s Key Club leader last year.

“I used to keep walking up to the wrong one, and she’d be like, I’m not your Key Club leader,” Alex said.
Assistant Principal Diane Hamburger has a special talent when it comes to telling twins apart, a talent she developed through interaction with her own 11-year-old identical twins.

“It’s hard when you have identical twins in the same class, but having identical twins myself, I know to look for some identifying mark to help tell them apart,” Hamburger said. “And when I make a mistake, they are always very gracious.”

Principal Bill Bolde had another way of keeping track of twins when he was a teacher — a seating chart.
“I knew who sat in which seat,” Bolde said. “I would also look for some kind of distinguishing feature, but the problem with that is sometimes you have to look really close to tell.”

Saugus High accommodates twins as much as possible, allowing them to be in the same class or not, according to the students’ and their parents’ wishes, Bolde said.

“Some of these guys do everything exactly the same, while others go their own way,” Bolde said. “But it’s always nice to have twins on campus — it doubles the pleasure.”

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