This story will remind you never that you can accomplish anything, as long as you set your mind to it. That’s certainly what these twin sisters did – they actually became valedictorian and salutatorian together at their high school!
Meet Janette and Judith Briseño
For those who don’t know, valedictorian and salutatorian are the number one and number two spots, respectively. So, twin sisters Janette (left) and Judith Briseño (right), have actually been competing since they were little girls. In fact, their mother, Martha, says it all started back at the age of 12, due to something their father said. “He told them, ‘I want to see my daughters walk the [graduation] stage and have you be the ones giving the speeches,'” Martha recalled. “My daughters looked at him and said, ‘Dad, that’s very difficult,’ but today they’re going to do it.” Their father, Salvador, continued motivating them to do better and achieve more.
Meanwhile, the twins also pushed each other to do better. However, despite Judith earning a 3.95 GPA, just one point above Janette’s 3.94, neither harbors any hard feelings. “I was happy for her. There’s no bitterness,” Janette said about coming in second place to Judith. “We kind of already knew it was going to end up this way because I was one point under her.” Of course, their sisterly competition did not end in the classroom…
Beloved Twin Sisters
While some might think it sounds great to have a similar twin sister, think again. “We couldn’t even talk about anything because we basically lived the same life,” said Judith. “But … I always know I’m not going to be alone somewhere, will have a friend somewhere. In a lot of classes, sometimes we’ll be struggling, and one of us is able to help the other.” Of course, becoming valedictorian and salutatorian requires hard work. In addition to doing incredibly well in their classes, Janette and Judit also participated in JROTC, UIL Academics, National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Calculus Club, among others, together. Talk about high achievers!
“What sets [the twins] apart from other high-achieving students is the breadth of what they’re involved in. That takes a lot of time management and a lot of focus,” said teacher Darrell Taylor, who taught the twins in AP Statistics and coached them in UIL Academics. “I don’t know a lot about their family situation, but I sense their drive is all intrinsic. I don’t feel like people are pressuring them, they’re just self-motivated young ladies. I’m sure they come from a great family, but they take the responsibility and the initiative and aren’t afraid to try new things, and basically, they’re pretty awesome at everything they do.” With such incredible minds, its no wonder Janette and Judith Briseño already have their college plans settled…
What’s Next For The Twins?
Once again, the twin sisters follow each other’s path: both will attend Texas A&M University and study chemistry. Another former teacher, Rhonda Butaineh, knows they will also do well there. “They are probably two of the hardest-working students I’ve ever had, and I’d never be able to guess that they’re stressed or worried or sacrificing sleep or overwhelmed because they just approach everything with a smile and a positive attitude,” she said.
“Even thinking about them right now makes me smile because I can hear them giggle. They’re just sincere, genuine, and determined to make it.”