Sisters are Mesquite school's first twins to graduate as valedic - Dallas News |

Sisters are Mesquite school's first twins to graduate as valedictorian, salutatorian

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Identical twins will don their caps and gowns soon as valedictorian and salutatorian of Mesquite’s Poteet High School.

They will both make speeches as the first ever twins to carry valedictorian and salutatorian titles for the high school.

The twins, Steffy and Stella Viju, grew up overseas and didn’t learn English until they were 7, but they credit each other as sisters and study buddies for their academic success.

While they’re identical, they’re individual.

“We balance each other out,” said Steffy, valedictorian. “If I'm weak, I have someone by my side to make me strong.”

Steffy and Stella have taken every high school class together, including seven Advanced Placement classes this semester.

The twins know six languages. They were born in India, moved to the country of Oman when they were 7, then to the U.S. when they were 13.

“More than the culture, what shook us was the education system,” said Steffy.

Going into their senior year, Stella and Steffy knew they would graduate at the top of their class -- they just didn't know who would be on top.

“I had always thought I was valedictorian, because before then, I was first and she was second, but then I thought, 'Oh, I must've done really bad in some class!” said salutatorian Stella.  

They had perfect 4.0 GPAs, but state law doesn't allow for two valedictorians, so Poteet administrators had to find a tiebreaker.

It took averaging three sets of six weeks’ worth grades for Steffy, who's one minute younger than Stella, to beat her by one point.

“We are equally intelligent,” said Steffy. “There is no difference. I don't consider myself smarter than her just because I'm valedictorian. There's nothing like that.”

When they're not studying, volunteering or finishing each other's sentences, they say they love to sleep.

They never say, “I’m sorry,” or “I love you,” because they say it’s implied.

“I don't think I would've wanted to not be a twin if you'd given me that option,” said Steffy. “We're blessed than most others.”

Their bond doesn't end in high school -- the twins will attend UTD next fall on full scholarships and plan to major in neuroscience; but they want to be different kinds of doctors one day.

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