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17-year-old Twin sisters graduate as top of their class, emerge as US high school best graduating students

Twin sisters named Llayna and Saniah Maul have emerged as Amos P. Godby High School, United States best-graduating students after graduating with the highest grade point in their set.

Llayna and Saniah Maul are twins from Tallahassee, Florida, who won the award of the Valedictorian and Salutatorian of Amos P. Godby High School, United States for their outstanding performance.

Llayna is the valedictorian while Saniah is the salutatorian. Llayna said it is their respect for education that has helped them achieve these goals, as well as making the most of every opportunity teachers have granted.

”We are very intrinsically motivated. A lot of people think the work I put in is for grades or accolades but it’s not, My passion for learning drives me, I just want to do the best that I can. I don’t work for the grades, they just come on their own.,” Saniah said. 

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“They’re dedicating their lives to be able to teach you. It’s worthwhile to just focus and pay attention and really put forth that effort to make them proud,” said Llayna.

The twins started high school virtually through Florida Virtual School in 2020 after which they transferred to Godby High in 2022 and began taking dual enrollment classes at Tallahassee Community College.

At Amos P. Godby High School, they not only excelled in their academics but were very active in extracurriculars, like the theater club, and were inducted into the National Honor Society.

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They recorded so many achievements together including performing at the Florida Thespian Festival in Tampa with Godby’s theater troupe in the school’s one-act show “Rumpelstiltskin,” which won several awards.

The twin’s parents, James and Annie Leonard, said they started educating their children early by, playing music and reading to them while they were still in cribs often.

“This isn’t a surprise, because in our house the importance of family and education has always been a priority. I believe the foundation to a good education is an early start,” Annie said. “They really like being challenged, in a good way, of course, and I like that. They don’t settle, They try to learn as much as they can,” Leonard added.

Both of them added that they see their daughters as an inspiration which is why Annie, a stay-at-home mom has decided to pursue a career in teaching by taking classes online at Western Governor’s University.

“The way they learn has inspired me to become a teacher, because I feel like the stuff I did with them when they were smaller kind of fueled their love for learning and I just want to bounce that off some more kids,” she said.

The Maul twins expressed gratitude to their parents for instilling within them an understanding that free public education is a privilege.

“People really spend their whole lives working for things that we can learn for free, especially people from our demographic who were once barred from having access to education, so why not take advantage of it,” Llayna said.

Saniah plans to continue her education at Florida A&M University in the fall as a junior majoring in Animal Science Industry. She said she aspires to be a wildlife veterinarian and, later on, a science teacher.

Aside from being the second-best graduating student, she was awarded two Advanced Placement Scholar Awards and a community service award at her high school.

Llayna said she likes structure and, before she does anything, she makes a plan which is why she is yet to decide which university she will attend, but she wants to major in psychology at the University.

“I’m still weighing all my options. I think that learning about the science of why people do the things that they do is really interesting,” she said. She is a recipient of the Yale Book Award, which is given to students who excel in English language arts and literature.

 

 

 

 

 

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