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Long IslandEducation

Carle Place High twins double down for graduation

Four sets of twins and a set of

Four sets of twins and a set of triplets will graduate from Carle Place High School on June 24, 2016. From left are twins, Kailee and Donald Pagnotta, triplets, Emily, Patrick and Sarah Shevlin, twins, Nicole and Mike O'Connell, twins, Lucy and Jessie Yu, and twins, Gregg and Jack Lograsso. Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

When the names of graduates are called June 24 at the Carle Place High School commencement, family and friends in attendance will be hearing double.

The graduating senior class boasts four sets of fraternal twins.

The large bounty of brothers and sisters — which also includes a set of fraternal triplets and are all known as “multiples” — adds up to something new for Tom DePaola, the principal at Carle Place High School and Middle School.

“In my four years of being principal,” DePaola said, “this is the most multiples we’ve had.”

They were born, raised and enrolled together but with graduation comes an opportunity to set out on their own.

Lucy and Jessie Yu, 18, twins who both dabble in drawing and painting while playing violin in the school orchestra, will each study biology, just not together.

Lucy Yu is enrolled at New York University for the fall while Jessie will attend Stony Brook University.

Before they move on to separate universities, Lucy and Jessie Yu will share one more distinction — class valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively.

It will be the first time since 2004 that twins have collected the honors at the high school.

Around campus, they heard a lot of predictions they might graduate at the top of their class but they didn’t get their hopes “all the way” up, Jessie Yu said.

“A lot of people in our grade were saying, ‘Oh, you’re going to be val and sal,’” she said.

Lucy Yu said the recognition “meant that all my work through high school paid off.”

“Same,” Jessie Yu chimed in with a laugh.

Not all of the Carle Place High School twins are as synced. Donald and Kailee Pagnotta are of like “mindsets,” Kailee said, but have diverse interests.

“You play sports, and I basically play music,” Donald Pagnotta said to his sister.

The Pagnottas, 18, both said they are looking forward to being their own people, not defined by the twin label. Donald Pagnotta will attend Five Towns College in Dix Hills and Kailee is enrolled at Pace University in Westchester County.

For the Yus and other multiples, there are advantages to having a sibling in the same grade.

“If one of us forget some notes or homework, you just ask the other person,” Jessie Yu said.

Patrick Shevlin, who makes up a set of triplets with sisters Sarah and Emily, said they do a lot for him.

“If I forget something at home, I’ll be like ‘Can you get that?’” he said.

His sisters agreed that the three help each other out, adding that things will be different without their siblings to rely on for support. The Shevlins have another sister, Caitlin, in her 20s, who has taken over as their legal guardian after their mother Denise Shevlin died in 2014.

“The whole school community has supported them,” DePaola said. “We’ve been taking care of Emily, Sarah and Patrick for all their needs.”

Emily is heading to SUNY Cortland, Patrick will attend Penn State and Sarah is enrolled at Nassau Community College.

Other multiples in the graduating class are just warming to the idea of separating, while others find the idea of four years apart refreshing.

“It’s definitely going to be different,” said Nicole O’Connell, who is graduating with her brother Michael, “especially since I’m going to be here and he’s going to be leaving.”

Nicole will attend Nassau Community College while Michael is going to SUNY Delhi.

Meanwhile, Jack and Greggory LoGrasso both said they are ready for new experiences separate from each other.

“We get along, but we can part ways,” said Jack LoGrasso, who is heading to SUNY Binghamton while Greggory will attend SUNY Albany.

No matter the distance, all of the graduates said they’ll keep in touch.

“It’ll be nice to branch out and have our own circles of friends,” Lucy Yu said.

“But we’re only a phone call away,” Jessie Yu finished.

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