Brusly High School will honor two graduates as Valedictorian next week, twin sisters Kayla and Shayla Leblanc. While not official until Friday, May 12 when final grades are entered, both girls have secured their spots with a 4.3 grade-point average.
Their success didn’t come as a big surprise, but the decision the girls made to attend different colleges did, their mom Toni Leblanc said. Shayla will move to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to attend Harvard University in the fall. Her sister Kayla will be more than 700 miles away at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“They have really stayed on top of things since they were little,” Toni Leblanc said.
As children the girls loved to play, but they also loved to learn Toni Leblanc said. By the time the girls entered first grade they already knew multiplication, she said.
It is not a competitive spirit that has brought them to the top of their class, Shayla Leblanc said. Rather, it has been the desire to see each other succeed that kept them motivated to work hard, she said.
Kayla is an organized student that keeps her planner close and likes to have everything in place, Toni Leblanc said. Shayla is more spontaneous and last-minute with her studying, she said.
Shayla enjoys history classes, her favorite being Advanced Placement European history, she said. The discussion-based class allows her to talk with and understand her classmates, something she will miss most about Brusly High.
Kayla likes definitive answers that come from math and science.
Her favorite class has been Advanced Placement calculus.
At first, they were just doing well in school, Shayla said. As the end of the year grew closer, they realized that they were at the top of their class.
“We were just doing well in school and wanted to keep it that way,” Shayla said.
Though their college choices and study habits differ, both plan to pursue a degree in chemistry. Both have plans of becoming doctors as of now, but Shayla is not as certain as Kayla, Toni Leblanc said.
“Kayla has known from the beginning of time that she wants to be a pediatrician,” Shayla said.
Shayla had plans of becoming a chemical engineer, but she has since shifted her sights to medical school to become an oncologist, she said.
Toni Leblanc sees both girls becoming doctors.
At first, the twins planned to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. However, an acceptance letter from Harvard changed Shayla’s mind.
Toni Leblanc hoped the girls would separate for college and told them this was a good time, but she wasn’t sure they would actually do it, she said.
“They are the best of friends, when you see one you see the other,” Toni Leblanc said.
Both sisters look to the future with hope and excitement, but say that friends and family will be greatly missed when they leave for college. Until then, they plan to get a summer job and spend time with friends and family they said.
“Sometimes I sit and think and I shed a tear because they’re my youngest kids,” Toni Leblanc said.