WARREN — Twins Samantha and William McAnany said they always were competitive growing up, but also would help each other with schoolwork.
That sibling support helped them to be among the 12 valedictorians who graduated Sunday during Brookfield Local School District’s commencement at Packard Music Hall in Warren. A total of 75 seniors graduated.
Brookfield Superintendent Toby Gibson said in his more than 23 years with the school district, 12 is the most valedictorians there has been in a long time, with most years averaging two or three and some years four to six.
“This group of students has always been very hard working and competitive since elementary school. As they have grown over the years, you can see that hard work and goal setting in each of them. This grade level has set goals and worked hard to achieve them,” Gibson said.
The valedictorians were very supportive of each other and gathered for photos before the ceremony.
“I think it’s great there are 12 of us,” said Kara Svarny.
“We all have worked really hard over the years,” said Madeline Thomas.
“We all wanted to be the top person. Now there are 12 of us,” said Katie Gibson.
“We have always been competitive and would motivate each other,” said Zoe Steele.
The McAnany twins said they were glad they were not alone as valedictorians.
“My sister helped set the pace for me. I wanted to be a little competitive,” said William McAnany, who will be studying for a career in cybersecurity.
“We would help each other by studying together and would rely on one another,” said Samantha McAnany, who plans to study chemistry in college.
Svarny said she was worried about her grade in human physiology, but with more studying and extra bonus credit, she did well.
Jenae Pugh said calculus was challenging her senior year, but she worked hard and was able to do well. She plans to study nursing in college.
Cameron Neely said he plans to study architecture.
In addition to the 12 valedictorians, there also were two salutatorians, Abby Dejoy and Sam Plyler.
“We knew there were a lot of valedictorians. Everyone is very smart and hardworking, so there was a lot of competition. We are proud to be the salutatorians,” Dejoy said.
Plyler said he is friends with many of the valedictorians, so it did not surprise him there were so many.
Brookfield Class of 2023
• Valedictorians — Luca Franz, Isabella Foust, Katie Gibson, Zachary Harden, Sophia Hook, Samantha McAnany, William McAnany, Cameron Neely, Jenae Pugh, Zoe Steele, Kara Svarny and Madeline Thomas
• Salutatorians — Abby Dejoy and Sam Plyler