Johnathan Stauffer entered the world nine minutes before his sister Samantha. He also came first in Rising Sun High School's Class of 2013 rankings. Johnathan was honored as valedictorian and Samantha was celebrated as salutatorian during Rising Sun's rain-abbreviated commencement exercises last Thursday evening.
The twins didn't make it a competition. "I knew he was going to win," Samantha said. "I was more into sports and wasn't 100 percent solely into academics. And he's always been a brainiac." The stiffest competition came for salutatorian honors. "It was a close call," Samantha said. "Numbers 2, 3, and 4 were all close. I was really excited that we both could be up there."
Johnathan acknowledges being "not really sentimental" but admitted it was "cool" to share the stage with his sister. Johnathan will attend the California Institute of Technology to study physics. Samantha will study exercise science at Eastern Michigan and eventually work in prosthetics and orthotics. The twins are the children of Matt and Sue Stauffer. "It's beyond our wildest expectations," Matt Stauffer said. "We've known they were both good students but there are a lot of good students here." "We're really proud and excited," said Sue Stauffer. "They're both different people, but they've never been competitive with one another," she said, jokingly stopping short of saying they supported one another.
The inclement weather forced Rising Sun to rearrange the commencement exercise schedule. Diplomas were handed out at the beginning of the event and some musical numbers were cancelled. The twins did get the chance to deliver their speeches. The steady rain began falling as principal Anne Gellrich welcomed the graduates and the community to the ceremony. "Despite the rain, it is a beautiful evening," Gellrich said.