Wichita twin brother and sister share valedictorian honors

By: David Marcus - Email
By: David Marcus - Email

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WICHITA, Kan. - Toby and Taylor VanCleave have been competing with each other for grades since they were in Middle School. And their hard work certainly paid off, for each of them.

They were named co-valedictorians for their senior graduating class at South High School in Wichita. They shared the top honor on Friday night, at the school's graduation ceremony at Koch Arena.

The twins drove each other to success, by competing from an early age.

"I'd have one or two B's and even though it was still a great report card, they'd ask me why I didn't have A's like my sister," Toby says. "So, I kinda got a little more competitive with it and it lead to this. And I'm glad it did."

Taylor also credits her brother, for urging her towards this week's special moment for the family.

"Sharing it is cool because we did it together," says Taylor. "We helped each other. I think I did better because of Toby and it was really cool to be able to share it with him."

Toby and Taylor VanCleave are also standout athletes. Toby's an accomplished cross country runner and Taylor's a state qualifier in tennis.

But this story has yet another incredible dimension.

Late last year, the twins' mother, Carla VanCleave, a math teacher at South High, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She had life-threatening surgery, but emerged with the tumor gone and her health intact.

She and her twins, all certainly with a lot to be proud of.

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