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It's a photo finish for twin Central grads Joshua and Michael Shannon

Twins Joshua and Mike Shannon are the co-salutatorians at Central High School in Brooksville, with 4.533 GPAs. They both will study engineering at Vanderbilt University.

RON THOMPSON | Times

Twins Joshua and Mike Shannon are the co-salutatorians at Central High School in Brooksville, with 4.533 GPAs. They both will study engineering at Vanderbilt University.

SPRING HILL — For their entire lives, identical twins Joshua and Michael Shannon have shared just about everything: a womb, a bedroom and now a weighted GPA of 4.533.

Tonight at Central High School's graduation, the two young men will share something else: the honor of salutatorian.

Just a few weeks ago, Joshua was a fraction of a point ahead of his brother. "It would be nice to be No. 1," he said at the time. "But I wouldn't want Mike to miss out on it because of me."

A few final exams later, their friend Kindo Lee was in first place and the brothers were tied for second.

"It's the first time in all four years they've been exactly in the same place," said their mother, Margaret Shannon. "I was praying (it) would be the same."

They applied to Vanderbilt University on an early decision basis, which would obligate them to attend if they accepted, even if only one got in.

"We talked about it," said Josh. "We decided that if one of us didn't make it, it would be okay to go to separate colleges."

The letters arrived on the same day. Carefully, they opened them at the same time. Two acceptance letters.

In August, both are off to study engineering in Nashville.

"They're giving us good financial aid packages," Mike said. "We will have to take out loans for some money, but it isn't too bad. It's affordable."

Springstead High's distance running coach and math teacher, Eric Milholland, wasn't surprised by their acceptance, or their decision to study engineering.

"I was lucky to work with these two boys all four years," he said. "They are full of discipline, they can put their minds to it and do anything."

One of the first things people mention when talking about the brothers is that they are soft-spoken.

"You might look at them and think they are quiet," said friend Brad Henderson. "But nothing really stops them."

Henderson played ultimate Frisbee with the Shannons. On the field, they demonstrated an uncanny ability to communicate with each other.

"They were like geniuses," Henderson said. "One of them could be on one side of the field and they would just know where the other would be. They could connect no matter where they were on the field."

Like a lot of twins, they developed their own language when they were very small. "No one else understood, but they understood it perfectly," said their father, Michael Shannon.

At 18 months, Joshua needed to be hospitalized for nearly two weeks. His mother stayed with him and his father watched his brother.

The boys were different when they were apart, his father recalled. During their visits, they would see each other and light up again, talking happily together.

Thirteen years later in another hospital, that connection would serve them again. Mike was badly injured in a four-wheeler accident while visiting family in rural Pennsylvania.

Initially, doctors thought recovery was slim.

"When you walk in and see a pastor and not a doctor, it's bad," said Michael Shannon.

"I kept saying, you don't understand, they are twins. It's not going to happen."

Mike was in the hospital for a week and at one point was struggling during a medical procedure. When he heard Josh's voice, he relaxed. Everything would be all right.

Being in such good shape helped him survive the accident. He was up and attending school within weeks.

While they'll both attend Vanderbilt, the brothers have decided to live in a dorm with randomly assigned roommates.

"We've roomed together for 18 years," said Mike. "This will be a new experience to meet new people."

Shary Lyssy Marshall can be reached at slmarshall.sptimes@gmail.com.

class of 2009

Central High School

Valedictorian, Kindo Lee

Parents: Paul and Regina Lee

GPA: 4.5384

College: Florida State University

Field of study: Biology, chemistry or engineering major with history minor

Rest of the best

4. Caroline Northup

5. Lindsay Impemba

6. Michael Ogren

7. Patrick O'Keefe

8. Angela Wooster

9. Hong Zheng

10. Krystal Mejia

Co-salutatorian, Joshua Shannon

Parents: Michael and Margaret "Peggy" Shannon

GPA: 4.5333

College: Vanderbilt University

Field of study: Biomedical engineering

Co-salutatorian, Michael Shannon

Parents: Michael and Margaret "Peggy" Shannon

GPA: 4.5333

College: Vanderbilt University

Field of study: Biomedical engineering

if you go

Commencement

Central High School will have its commencement ceremony at 7:30 tonight at the school, 14075 Ken Austin Parkway, Brooksville.



Jarvis Abram

Casey Abbott

Justin Adamick

Jonathan Adams

Thomas Adams

Stephanie Aguilera

Anthony Aiello

Jonnine Alascia

Victor Alcantara

Daniel Allegrone

Michael Alonzo

Lisamarie Alvarado

Blanca Alvarenga

Arielle Alvarez

Jessica Alves

John Anaya

Ariel Anaya

John Anderson

Jonathan Anderson

Ashley Andrade

Angelita Anile

Nicole Annunziato

Andrew Arciola

Blair Arneaud-Gidden

Catherine Atkins

Timothy Bagley

Shannon Bain

Kylie Barnes

Israel Batista

Chylee Baxter

Palmer Berberette

Kayla Bierwiler

Tiffany Bisard

Erica Bitzberger

Christopher Blocker

Robert Bock

Samantha Bonfardino

Jillian Bordonaba

Brianna Boston

Kyle Boutin

Kara Boyt

Eric Bratton

Ashley Brooks

Autumn Brown

Rohan Bryan

Stephanie Buckingham

Danielle Byrd

Shaun Cadoret

Amanda Cappuccio

Kaley Caputo

Bianca Caraballo

Nicholas Caramanica

Jeffrey Cario

Christine Carman

Owen Carnley

Joshua Carter

Gabrielle Cartier

Anthony Cartland

Robert Cash

Mark Chapman

Brittany Chesney

Cassie Chilton

Brittany Cleveland

Nicholas Colaiacomo

Eleanor Cole-Welch

Kristen Collins

Jessica Colon

Adina Cornett

Baily Crane

Carlos Cuba

Patrick Curtis

Ashley Custodio

Elizabeth D'addario

Jessica D'addario

Sandra Dahmer

Scott Dahn

Jordan D'amato

Kristina Danna

Garrett Davis

Annatasia Deangelis

Edward Dees

Salvatore Defranco

Jasmine Delaine

Debbie Demetriou

Lauren Devico

Julie Diaz

Bernadette Diblasio

Jeffrey Dinocento

Melissa Doherty

Eric Dominguez

Ryan Donaruma

Jordan Driscoll

Kayla Drummond

Chelsea Durham

Thomas Eagan

Amber Ebert

Courtney Egbert

Luke English

Chantera Evans

Anson Evans

Kirsten Faillace-Garren

Ashlee Fish

Nathan Flint

David Flores

Louis Flores

Jesse Flowers

Austin Forte

Kervenia Fortune

Allyssa Francis

Darryn Frazier

Edward Frederick

Holly Fromm

Cody Furlong

Layla Gacel

Shelby Gallagher

Marissa Gamier

Monika Ganguly-Kiefner

Jarin Gariepy

Ryan Garrity

Krista Gaul

Kenyon Gaynor

Brandon Gernatt

Kevin Gibbemeyer

Kristin Gillespie

Megan Giuffo

Hailey Goodwin

Michael Gordon

Kyle Gordon

Stephanie Grau

Travis Graves

Kevin Grier

Christopher Griffin

Shea Gropper

Rachel Guido

Sarah Haines

Andrew Hall

Anthoney Hamrick

Alexandra Hantzis

Martha Harris

Stormie Harris

Tonyelle Harris

Sydney Hatcher

Brent Hatley

Patrick Heid

Rusty Helton

Jordan Henderson

Marisa Henley

Nicholas Hernandez

Justin Hildreth

Candice Hinkley

Justin Hintz

Robert Hodgson

Anthony Hoffmann

Savannah Holt

Anthony Hood

Korie Hopkins

Molly Hosley

Tiffany Hunter

Danielle Hunter

Benjamin Hurtado

Esterianna Hutchinson

Teresa Iglesias

Lindsay Impemba

Sara Isaacson

Brian Jackson

Xavier Jarque

Jawara Jarrett

Aubrey Johnston

Lacy Jordan

Nicholas Jumisco

Amanda Kane

Korina Kauo

Andrea Kelliher

Kara Kern

Abby Kerr

Matthew Knoll

Jordan Koenig

Joshua Kott

Berrick Kozak

Lauro Kreismann

Taylor Kupcik

Amanda Labozzetta

Matt Laderwager

Amanda Lamberson

Nicholas Lambert

Zachary Landry

Alycia Lane

Brittney Laux

Daniel Lavalle

Jessica Lawrence

Amanda Lee

Kindo Lee

Ashley Leger

Michael Levesque

Stephanie Lockser

Ashley Longo

Marissa Longobardi

Andrew Lucas

Jaclyn Lucey

Andrew Maier

Christopher Malik

Peter Malkiewicz

Andrew Manczak

Michelle Manning

Kaled Margieh

Adam Martin

Ashley Martucci

Nathaniel Martucci

Daniel Matkowski

Ryan Matkowski

Javiair Mattingly

Daniel May

Kady McCandless

Samantha McCarthy

Michael McDaniels

Courtney McDougald

Melanie McHugh

Jonathan McKee

Krystal Mejia

Samantha Meliti

Brian Meucci

Michael Miller Jr.

Kayla Mills

Laura Mitro

Christopher Mondor

Charisse Monroe

Landry Mony

Amanda Morris

Blair Morris

Patrick Mulholland

Samantha Mullen

Austin Munno

Taelar Munson

Colby Nash

Richard Nein III

Wesley Newman

Caroline Northup

Adam Norton

Charles Nunez

Michael Ogren

Patrick O'Keefe

Nicole O'Neill

Logan Orrell

Tony Ortiz

Gisela Ortiz

Alexis Ortiz

Brittney Osborn

Orlando Osorio

Aislinn Osterhout

Morgan Owens

Alexandra Paredes

Edward Patane

Jenevieve Patton

Ayme Peet

Vanessa Penalbert

Simona Perego

Betty Perez

Michael Peters Jr.

Philomena Petro

Amber Phelps

Jacklynn Piasecki

James Pittman Jr.

Tiffany Pittman

Brent Pizzo

Marissa Platko

Jacob Poor

Alexander Presing

Charles Proffer

Carlie Puglia

Joseph Puricelli

Christopher Quince

Shane Ralph

Dillon Ralston

Robert Ramirez

Melanie-Lynn Rau

Cole Reagan

Sean Reardon

Matthew Redford

Stephanie Reyes

Jeffrey Reynolds

Jason Richardson

Nohemi Rizo

Samuel Robinson

Cody Rockhold

Gregory Rodriguez

Phillip Rodriguez

Giselle Rodriguez

Lauren Rogers

Daniel Rojo

Raymond Rosado

Donald Ruger

Connie Salgueiro

Brendan Schweiger

Michael Scott

Michael Senker

Brandon Shannon

Joshua Shannon

Michael Shannon

Barrett Sheffield

Keith Sherron

Ashley Sims

Jennifer Siri

Lyanela Smalley

Brandon Smith

Joshua Smoak

Wayne Snell

Heather Sousa

Jonathan Sousa

Jeoffrey Spinoza

Evan Steinhilber

Kandyce Stephens

Jessica Stevenson

Richard Stiltner Jr.

Angela Stobaugh

Jacob Stone

Kathleen Strange

Bryan Stroud

Coty Summers

Kenneth Supple

Heather Swanson

Amanda Tate

Frankie Tatz

Kristen Tavolaro

Adam Taylor

Bryce Taylor

Robert Taylor

Joseph Teater

William Terry III

Kristina Thiel

Matthew Thompson Jr.

Joscelyn Thompson

Rolando Torreira

Axel Torres

Daniel Toto

Alexis Troche

Sydney Tucker

Brian Turk

Brianna Turner

Travis Tyson

Chanel Underwood

Amanda Valenzano

Steven Valle

Juan Varada

Crystal Vazquez

Heather Vasquez

Angela Velez

Luke Viramontes

Michael Vitale

Jonathan Vredeveld

Michael Wagner

Sarah Wagner

Terry Walker Jr.

Matthew Walters

Bethany Walton

Nicolette Ware

Brittany Watson

Dallas Waugh

Curtis Weaver

Rebecca Webster

Victoria Webster

April Weidemeyer

Dalton Whitelaw

Stephanie Wilson

Katlyn Winterkamp

Justin Wisniewski

Francine Wood

Angela Wooster

Nicole Wright

Wyatt Yost

Anthony Young Jr.

Erica Yunka

Sean Zak

Hong Zheng

It's a photo finish for twin Central grads Joshua and Michael Shannon 06/02/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 3, 2009 10:10am]

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