Double the fun

Twins running rampant at CHS


Robyn Gamboa

Identical twins, from left, A’aliyah Shields, A’uria Shields, Frank Sheckles and Chris Sheckles are just two sets of of the many multiples attending Cleveland.

Ian Blackburn and Tran Lam

Do not adjust your eyes. You are not going crazy. You are not seeing double. It’s just Cleveland’s abnormally large number of multiples. This year, numerous sets of twins and two out of three triplets walk the halls of CHS. This many sets of multiples are rare, especially for a school so small. But it doesn’t stop with the students. A few teachers also happen to be part of a pair as well. While being part of a pair may seem appealing, it’s not always a perk to have a sibling with the same face.

Identical twins, sophomores Christopher and Frank Sheckles, have always had a sibling rivalry. The pair constantly argue and annoy each other just because they know how to push each other’s buttons.

“It’s really a competition between us,” said Christopher. “Somebody’s gotta be the better twin and that’s me. I’m smarter, I’m stronger and nicer.”

Being identical can be annoying when people easily confuse one twin for the other, but the Sheckles like to take advantage of their similar features and prank people by pretending to be the other twin.

“Sometimes people will call me Frankie, and I’ll make a joke out of it and not respond,” said Christopher.

It doesn’t help that both boys play football and basketball and have similar mannerisms.

Although it can be hard to tell the boys apart at first, people who know them are able to distinguish them from their different facial hair and hairstyles. Christopher has more facial hair and Frank often changes his hair color.

For fraternal twins Zareya and Zakeya Flowers, it’s less about competition and more about comparison. While the juniors are happy to have each other’s company most of the time, the two dislike when they are compared to each other.

“I really hate it when people say, ‘why can’t you be like your older sister?’ That really pisses me off because I am my own person,” said Zakeya.

Ryshun, left, and Ryshel Sampson are fraternal twins who share a love of basketball. Ryshel said being a twin makes you stand out.
Teresa Scribner
Ryshun, left, and Ryshel Sampson are fraternal twins who share a love of basketball. Ryshel said being a twin makes you stand out.

Likewise, seniors Ryshel and Ryshun Sampson, who are also fraternal twins, dislike when people compare them.

“We have our own personalities, I have my own groups of friends and deal with school different than Ryshun,” said Ryshel, the younger of the two. She said it’s mostly the adults in her life who make the comparison.

Most people who know the Sampson twins can easily tell them apart – they look related but have entirely different features and personalities. While one is more academic and the other is more of a jokester, they both share a common talent: basketball. Both girls having been a part of the Lady Eagles basketball team for four years.

Although both the Flowers and Sampson twins dislike when they are compared to each other, they still enjoy each other’s company at school.

“I love my sister and it’s good to know she’s always by my side,” said Zakeya.

Zareya shares the same sentiments, “It’s fun being a twin; it’s like going through life with your best friend.”

For another pair, the love isn’t quite the same. Juniors A’aliyah and A’uria Shields, don’t like being identical twins at Cleveland. It’s very hard to distinguish the difference between the two.

“We get mixed up a lot,” said A’uria. “Teachers will call us the wrong names a lot. People will always ask if I’m the nicer one or the mean one and it gets really irritating.”

Even though teachers mix up the two frequently, A’uria doesn’t think that they look alike.

“People who we talk to a lot can recognize our different facial features and can identify us easily,” she said.

Sophomore Misa Colon Vega and her twin brother Pablo get to avoid the comparisons. Most people don’t even know the two are related. Misa, the younger twin by two minutes, said people don’t believe them when they reveal they are a pair. Her annoyance comes from the comment that they don’t look alike or that they have completely different personalities.

“Like, we know that!”

Not only are there multiple sets of twins at Cleveland, but triplets as well. Carmela and Carlos Cura are two out of three triplets who attend CHS; the third one, Carmina, attends Franklin.

Students aren’t the only ones at CHS who are twins; humanities teacher Caine Lowery and PE teacher Lance Lighthall also know what it’s like to be part of a pair.

“I think it’s really cool to see other people that have had the same experiences as you,” said humanities teacher Caine Lowery.

Gym teacher Lance Lighthall, left, and his twin brother, Loren, not only look alike; they sound alike too.
Cleveland Publications Archives
Gym teacher Lance Lighthall, left, and his twin brother, Loren, not only look alike; they sound alike too.

Lighthall thinks that it’s easier to relate to people who are twins.

“I know what people who grew up as a twin go through and what their experiences are like.”

Lighthall’s brother has made appearances in his classes many times. The two look and sound so much alike that it’s hard to tell them apart.

It’s not easy to go to school with a sibling, let alone one who has the same face. But it’s still comforting to know that there’s someone you can count on.

“I love being a twin. It’s different. It makes you stand out,” said Ryshun.