Brotherly competition pushes twins to graduate on top

Morgan (left) and Ethan (right) credit support from their parents and brotherly competition for salutatorian and valedictorian titles, respectively. (KXAN Photo)
Morgan (left) and Ethan (right) credit support from their parents and brotherly competition for salutatorian and valedictorian titles, respectively. (KXAN Photo)

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Families across Texas are getting ready to cheer on graduates getting high school diplomas this weekend.

A family in Round Rock will be cheering twice as loudly Friday when twin brothers Ethan and Morgan Santoni-Colvin cross the stage as valedictorian and salutatorian of Stony Point High School’s graduating class, after years of neck-and-neck grade point averages.

“It’s probably been that way for a steady four semesters or so now — so about two years,” Morgan said. “We both like to learn a lot and so even though we found out relatively early on that we were doing really well, it didn’t change how we worked.”

The brothers say they never had two-person study groups at home, but they both credit their parents for pushing them to be their best.

“I think it was just more the atmosphere of our home and the way our parents raised us,” Ethan said. “That’s not to say, you know, get home and hit the books, I think part of it just has to be being raised in the same environment sort of put us both in the same area.”

Aside from the support of their parents, the twins say mutual competition pushed them to the top, joking that scoring a few points differently on a test was never more than ammunition for teasing each other.

Morgan (left) and Ethan (right) credit support from their parents and brotherly competition for salutatorian and valedictorian titles, respectively. (KXAN Photo)
Morgan (left) and Ethan (right) credit support from their parents and brotherly competition for salutatorian and valedictorian titles, respectively. (KXAN Photo)

“Whenever he does well, I want to do well also. And vice versa,” Morgan said.

“If that’s the best we can do and if one of us just barely surmounts the other, it’s not a big deal at all,” Ethan added. “If I were two and he were one I wouldn’t feel any different.”

The brothers say the focus of their four years wasn’t just finishing with high GPA’s, both pouring themselves into extra curricular activities, becoming Eagle Scouts and earning medals in the UIL State Social Studies competition.

“We both focused on not just academics, but improving and doing the best we can in all of our spheres,” Ethan said. “For us, you know, becoming the top of our class was just another one of those things where we’re just trying to do the best we can in everything we decide to participate in.”

Morgan says fully participating all four years was just as important as finishing among the top of his class.

“I think that a student is really a composition of what they do in extracurriculars,” he said. “How well they do inside school kind of goes along with how well they do outside of school.”

The brothers are heading to the University of Texas at Austin this fall, living in dorms on opposite ends of the campus and studying different engineering fields: Ethan computer and Morgan mechanical.

“Our classes won’t overlap that much, which I think will be a good thing,” Morgan said. “It’ll allow us to sort of achieve on our own.”

“But we’ll still be there to check in on each other,” his brother added.

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