By elise Franco
Each of Canfield High School’s 282 graduates gets a diploma June 12, including 23 seniors who share one common tie: They are a multiple.
The class of 2011 has 10 sets of twins and one set of triplets, said John Tullio, high school principal.
Tullio said all 23 of these students have come up through the Canfield school system since kindergarten.
“I think it’s really unique that out of 282 graduates we have so many sets of twins,” he said. “In fact, we have a photo of some of them from kindergarten that we’re putting in the yearbook.”
Tullio said this is the largest group of twins and triplets he can recall, and he said they’re “all really great kids.”
The Vindicator spoke with all 11 sets and asked them to talk about graduation, life after high school and growing up as a multiple.
Jesse and Anthony Ferraro, 18, said they’ve chosen to attend Youngstown State University together.
“Being apart would be a big deal for us, Anthony said.
“It’s kind of like having a permanent friend,” echoes Jesse.
Jean and John Deibel, 18, however, said it won’t be that difficult to attend separate colleges.
“I’m excited because it’ll be new for me,” John said.
Jean said they’ll still talk regularly.
Sarah and Megan Celedonia, 17, also are separating for college — Sarah to the University of Akron and Megan to the University of Toledo.
“I’ll be scared,” Sarah said. But Megan reassured her that “it will be fine, and we’ll talk all the time.”
The Pool sisters, Alyssa and Alexa, 18, said they’re excited for graduation.
“I’m ready for something different,” Alexa said, while Alyssa said leaving high school will be an adjustment.
Natalina and Karlina Valley, 18, are the self-proclaimed closest of all the sets.
“We have a special bond no one else had,” Natalina said.
“It’s really cool because you always had your friend there,” Karlina echoed.
Brother and sister pair Mike and Bree DeRose, 18, said they think the number of sets is unique and unusual.
“It’s all we know,” Bree said. “We’ve been close with some of them since first grade.”
Mike, who’s headed to Kent State, said he and Bree, who is going to the University of Mount Union, will visit each other all the time.
Katie and Nicole Tiberio, 18, said though they’re attending different colleges, they’ll maintain a friendly sport rivalry.
“We’ll be running track against one another,” Katie said. She’s attending Mount Union, while Nicole is going to Otterbein University.
“At first I’ll be glad to be on my own, but then I know I’ll miss her,” Nicole said.
Amanda and Nathan Mosure, 18, said leaving Canfield and their classmates is bittersweet.
“I’m a little bit scared,” Amanda said. “We’ve been together through everything already.”
Nathan said he considered attending Kent, where his sister will go, but decided on Ohio State University Newark.
“It’s only about an hour and a half from Kent,” he said.
Alex and Christian Syrianoudis, 18, are the only identical twins in the bunch. They said they have mixed emotions about graduating but joked that attending separate colleges could be beneficial.
“It’s going to be a different growing experience for us,” Alex said.
“People won’t mix us up anymore, though,” Christian said.
Andrew and Richard Rapone, 18, said knowing other twins will graduate with them is a cool feeling.
“You don’t really realize there are that many sets until you see everyone together,” said Andrew, who will attend New Castle School of Trades.
Richard, who plans to go to YSU, said he’ll be glad when commencement day arrives.
“I’m happy to graduate,” he said.
Robert, Meredith and Emily Gleichert, 18, are the triplets in the graduating class.
Robert, who is headed to Kent State in the fall, said growing up as a triplet and being surrounded by so many sets of twins was exciting for him.
“I’ve played sports with most of them,” he said. “It’s never a dull moment.”
Emily said though she’s not friends with all of the twins, there is a sort of connection among them.
“It’s been a lot of togetherness,” said Emily, who is going to the University of Michigan. “It’s a lot of people to relate to.”
Meredith, who will attend Xavier University, said she doesn’t think knowing multiple sets of twins is much different than having a lot of friends.
“We’ve grown up with them,” she said. “But it is kind of cool to realize there are that many sets.”
Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2011 is at 2 p.m. June 12 in Cardinal Stadium in Canfield.
The class of 2012 has three sets of twins; 2013 has one, and 2014 has eight.