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Multiple Mania
Twins, triplets invade Poplar Springs Elementary

By Staff
CAN YOU TELL THEM APART? Poplar Springs Elementary School is home this year to 12 sets of twins and one set of triplets. Pictured are, from the left and hanging from the monkey bars, Luke and Tyler Stanley and Merrick and Miller Watkins. Standing in front are Lexie and Tori Carney, Alexandra and Christian Pawlowski and Ashley and Amber Reed. At the top are Amanda and Melissa Baker and Meredith, Miles and Laura Huff. Standing and sitting on the steps are, from the top, Antonio and Antonia Gordon, Rasheda Penry, Lauren and Kaitlin Fowler, Carlissa and Jarlissa Hopkins, Courtney and Taylor Clark and Maria and Emilia Calderon. Not pictured is Penry's twin brother, Rashawn. Photo by Paual Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall / staff writer
Aug. 24, 2003
Jill Gavin knew even before classes began two weeks ago that the new school year would be an unusual one at Poplar Springs Elementary.
Gavin learned July 28 during fall preregistration that four sets of twins would join a student body that already featured eight sets of twins and one set of triplets.
The newest twins at Poplar Springs are kindergartners Lauren and Kaitlin Fowler, Emilia and Maria Calderon, Carlissa and Jarlissa Hopkins and Courtney and Taylor Clark.
They joined second-graders Amber and Ashley Reed and Antonio and Antonia Gordon; third-graders Miles, Laura and Meredith Huff; fourth-graders Tori and Lexie Carney, Miller and Merrick Watkins and Amanda and Melissa Baker; and fifth-graders Tyler and Luke Stanley and Christian and Alexandra Pawlowski.
Gavin said each one of the twins and triplets has his or her own personality. Some dress alike, right down to the color of their hair bows. Others want to show they are individuals as well as a twin or triplet.
And except for the twins in kindergarten, all others are separated and attend different classes apart from their siblings.
The news that the school would be home to so many multiple siblings also came as a surprise to Dulaney.
Christi Jones, director of the Woman Care Birthplace at Riley Hospital, said she has seen the rate of multiple births in Meridian double within the last several years.
All of the the twins and triplets at Poplar Springs Elementary agree they are special because they can depend on their siblings.
Fourth-grader Merrick Watkins believes having a twin has taught her to share.
And Laura Huff, one of the Huff triplets, added, "You always have someone to talk to."