Twins make history in small East Texas town - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Twins make history in small East Texas town

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Emily and Shelby Gibbs will graduate May 30 (Source: KLTV Staff) Emily and Shelby Gibbs will graduate May 30 (Source: KLTV Staff)
Shelby Gibbs will graduate as the valedictorian (Source: KLTV Staff) Shelby Gibbs will graduate as the valedictorian (Source: KLTV Staff)
Emily Gibbs will graduate as the salutatorian (Source: KLTV Staff) Emily Gibbs will graduate as the salutatorian (Source: KLTV Staff)
NEW LONDON, TX (KLTV) - For the first time in New London history, twin sisters will be graduating as valedictorian and salutatorian. Shelby and Emily Gibbs will cross the stage together May 30 celebrating their academic success at the age of 17. It will be the last time they attend the same school but they say this is an honor they'll never forget.

Shelby and Emily have the highest grade point averages in the class of 2014 at West Rusk High School in New London.

"We made all A's," Emily Gibbs said.

After making the best grades, Shelby will graduate with the highest GPA in their class of 67 and Emily will graduate second in their class. Throughout the years, they've helped each other keep their "A" average.

"I guess you could say friendly competition," Shelby Gibbs said.

When asked who makes the best grades Shelby said, "Me of course."

"They're good girls, they worked hard, and they deserve being valedictorian and salutatorian," said their mother Leigh Gibbs.

A little friendly competition has helped Emily keep her salutatorian spot after running neck and neck with a couple of students this year.

"Both of them bring a very competitive nature to academics and to everything they do, and that's a big part of being successful for kids," said West Rusk High School Principal Jack Jackson.

This is the first time the high school has taught a pair like the Gibbs sisters.

"This is my hometown and the school where I graduated from and my parents did," Jackson said. "So, to my knowledge there's never been a val and sal twins or even from the same family in the same year."

Emily is older than Shelby by one minute and for the past 17 years they've done everything together.

"It's really difficult. People always compare you to each other and it's kind of like living in each other's shadow," Shelby said.

In the fall, they'll be going to different colleges, and it's actually a change they seem to be looking forward to.

"It'll be good," Emily said. "I mean not good."

The sisters say they're not nervous about living without each other and they'll look forward to seeing each other during the holidays.

They still have a couple more weeks to cherish in their four out of five classes together before graduation. They say they plan to go over their speeches together before May 30.

Emily will be attending Kilgore College in the fall to study photography. Shelby will be attending Stephen F. Austin State University in the fall to study kinesiology.

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