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Two by two: Four sets of twin siblings make up 14% of Goodhue's graduating class

“These kids started here in kindergarten together,” Goodhue High School Principal Michele Rehder said.

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Four sets of twins are set to graduate from Goodhue High School this spring. They include, from left, Trey Heitman, Grace Schulte, Trent Heitman, Claire Schulte, Ryan Bortz, Joslyn Carlson, Lucas Bortz, and Kristopher Carlson.
Jordan Shearer | Post Bulletin
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GOODHUE — Anyone referring to the “graduating twins from Goodhue” will have to be a little more specific this year because there’s definitely more than one pair.

In fact, there are four sets of twins graduating this spring from Goodhue High School. In a class of fewer than 60 students, the twins represent roughly 14% of their graduating class.

For them, though, it’s just been a normal part of growing up in their small community of roughly 1,100 people.

“These kids started here in kindergarten together,” Goodhue High School Principal Michele Rehder said. “They probably don’t think there’s anything unique about this because they haven’t known any different.”

The twins consist of three girls and five boys. Two of the pairs are brothers, one is a pair of sisters, and the final pair is a brother-sister combo. And while none of them can claim with 100% certainty that they’re part of an identical set, there have been plenty of times when they’ve caused confusion for those around them.

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Almost everyone in the group — everyone except the brother-sister set — said they get mixed up with their other twin. The two who arguably look the most alike, Lucas and Ryan, remember switching classes for a day as an April Fools joke in the fifth grade.

So just how often do they get mixed up?

“Every single day at least once an hour or so,” Lucas Bortz said.

Their perception of each other, though, is a completely different matter.

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"We look nothing alike," Ryan Bortz said.

Even though they don't get confused for one another, being in the same grade gave brother-sister combo Blake and Joslyn a unique experience when they were named homecoming queen and king last September.

As much as they may look alike, they all have their own sets of preferences and personalities. Twin sisters Grace and Claire have noticeably different hairstyles.

"I'd say she's more girly than I am," Grace said. "Our mom used to dress us up in the same clothes."

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While this group may have drawn some attention for the fact that they’re all in the same grade, they’re by no means the only twins in the Goodhue school system. The principal herself grew up as a twin. There’s also another set of twins in one of the lower grades of the school district.

“We got to thinking of all the staff members that have been twins,” Rehder said.

As they all get ready for graduation, their plans have started to diverge somewhat from each other. Brothers Trent and Trey are both headed to study business at the University of South Dakota. Sisters Grace and Claire are both headed to Rochester Community and Technical College for a period before heading separate ways. The students from the other two pairs all have their own individual plans.

Even though they all grew up in the same small school, they already have an idea of what it's like to learn apart from each other.

"I feel like when we were younger, we were always split up," Joslyn Carlson said. "There'd be one twin in one class and the other in another."

Twins Grace and Claire Schulte had a similar experience:

"Our mom always picked separate classrooms so the teacher wouldn't have to worry about that (mixing us up)," Grace said.

Related Topics: EDUCATIONGOODHUEEXCLUSIVE
Jordan Shearer covers K-12 education for the Post Bulletin. A Rochester native, he graduated from Bemidji State University in 2013 before heading out to write for a small newsroom in the boonies of western Nebraska. Bringing things full circle, he returned to Rochester in 2020 just shy of a decade after leaving. Readers can reach Jordan at 507-285-7710 or jshearer@postbulletin.com.
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