High school is a place where students learn what sets them apart from everyone else, but kids at New Trier High School in Chicago are more alike than you would expect.
That's because 91 students in New Trier's class of 2020 are triplets or twins, an unusually high percentage at a school with just over 1,000 students.
The startling number of twins in a single class was enough to get the school into the Guinness Book of World Records, and there's a surprising reason behind the huge number of double births in the community.
The idea to apply for the record came from Luke and Ryan Novosel, who also set one of the previous records with their grade school class. The Novosel boys say this isn't necessarily an "academic" or "skill-type" record, but they're still proud of it.
“There’s something unique you share with a twin, but you also have a special bond when you meet other twins," Luke explains, and he had no idea just how many twins went to his school until he tried to break the record.
New Trier beat the previous record set by a school in Connecticut, which featured 18 pairs of twins and two sets of triplets in one eighth-grade class.
In case you're curious how so many pairs of twins end up at the same high school, New Trier parents have a theory.
Most of the twins come from the nearby Chicago suburbs of Glencoe, Winnetka, and Wilmette.
Out of the 91 students in the record there are:
- 19 pairs of girls.
- 11 pairs of boys.
- 14 mixed-gender pairs.
- A set of female triplets.
- Only three sets of twins are identical.
- Two pairs of twins have different birth dates.
- Two pairs of twins have other siblings who are also twins.
According to the mother of Luke and Ryan Novosel, Nancy Fendley, the school's rate of twins is "three times the national average," or 1 in 10 births instead of 1 in 30.
Fendley says the region is a hotbed for twins because of certain factors that contribute to twin births.
Mothers of twins are usually educated, more affluent, have access to fertility treatments, and give birth later in life, and many New Trier mothers fit that bill exactly.
While the Novosel twins are proud of their unusual world record, they say the real prize has been getting to know their fellow twins and triplets.
“This has opened up the opportunity to have way more friendships," Luke told Today. "I met more people yesterday at my school that I didn’t know were twins.”
Have you ever seen this many twins in one place before?