sophomores looked around earlier this year and thought they were seeing double, because there are more twins than usual in the class.
It was actually one of the twins who brought the unusual number of sibling pairs to the attention of the school, said Jessica Ogulnik, the director of student activities, and suggested that the school might find its way into the Guinness Book of World Records.
So Ogulnik combed enrollment documents to see how many twins are in the class of 2014 at the school, and came up with 14 pairs. Some are identical – coming from a single embryo that divided and thus sharing their full genetic code -- but most appear to be fraternal, she said, meaning they have no more genetic similarity than other brothers and sisters; they just happened to gestate and be born at the same time.
The Guinness Book of World Records now lists Pomperaug High School in Southbury, Conn., as having had the “Most Twins in the Same Academic Year at One School.” That record was set on January 20, 2010 for 13 pairs of twins in the senior class.
But Niles West is not a shoo-in; the Associate Press has reported that Staples High School in Westport, Conn., has 16 sets of twins in its sophomore class. And whoever sets the record might not hold it for long; the rate of twin births in the United States has been rising steadily since 1980, most likely because of increased use of fertility treatments. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 33.2 of 1,000 births in 2009 were twin births, up 76 percent from 1980.
Ogulnik documented the 14 sets of twins by photographing them all together on April 19.
The twins are: Elijah and Zachary Gelfand, Payton and Taylor Genis, John and Joseph Yousif, Moonisah and Muhammad Singdi, Dimitrios and Savas Savidis, Isaac and Louis Reinemann, John and Mary Mucci, Megan and Melanie Kleppin, Brian and Stephanie Knorr, Faizan and Imran Ahmad, Anna and Zuzanna Antonow, Stacey and Stephanie Canchola, Alejandro and Mario Elvira, and Benjamin and Matthew Henry.