Saturday, January 20, 2018
Education

Twins are Dunedin High's top scholars

DUNEDIN

Dalton Settlemire likes math and science. Lindsey prefers literature and Spanish. He was captain of the football team at Dunedin High School. She was head of the Falcons' cheerleader squad.

He was student body president. She was vice president. He was president of the National Honor Society. She was treasurer. Dalton was commanding officer in the Navy Junior ROTC. Lindsey enjoys scrapbooking.

Subtle differences and 120 seconds separate the twins (Lindsey is older), but they will share academic honors as valedictorian (Dalton) and salutatorian (Lindsey) at Dunedin High when they graduate on June 5.

"We do a lot of things together as a team," Lindsey said. "We've always known how to work together growing up."

• • •

Temple Settlemire just wanted her children to grow up to be well rounded.

When the kids were little she used a calendar to schedule church youth group and cheerleading or football practice.

"I encouraged them to try things and to do things and to have many types of friends and be involved," Mrs. Settlemire said. "I wanted them to be able to carry on conversations with adults as well as with children."

Planning days, weeks or months in advance has been key in the Settlemires' success. Dalton and Lindsey attended fundamental elementary and middle schools, where students use planners that are checked by parents and graded by teachers.

Lindsey seemed to get good grades from the start. Dalton's love of learning came a little later, in about fourth grade. He began to push himself to be the best student. He took harder classes and became involved in extracurricular activities.

And when they did well, there was Fritzee Freeze, a hamburger and ice cream stand along Patricia Avenue near the Settlemires' home.

Mrs. Settlemire took the kids there more as a matter of convenience than as a reward — she expected them to do well at school. Still, Dalton with his overflowing vanilla ice cream cone and Lindsey with her chocolate-vanilla swirl remember the trips fondly.

"That was the go-to place for a really long time to get an ice cream cone," Lindsey said.

• • •

At school the twins' lockers are adjacent; hers is 155, his 157. Both are neatly maintained.

In Lindsey's, a magnet football schedule clings to the metal locker wall above a row of textbooks and notebooks neatly lined up. A duck dressed in a sailor outfit is in there as well.

A few notebooks are piled in Dalton's.

There is a bit of sibling rivalry between them that helped to fuel their academic will to win. A test their sophomore year let Dalton pull ahead by a hair — he set the curve on the midterm exam in their advanced placement world history class.

"My one B," Lindsey said. "That got me."

One of the few classes they had together senior year was advanced placement chemistry, taught by Jeff Sellers. The Settlemires helped other students with labs, did work whether it would be collected or not, and always stayed positive, Sellers said.

"They really are great kids," he said.

• • •

Both will give speeches, separately, during Dunedin's graduation June 5 at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

The titles of their speeches seemingly reflect the differences in them. Dalton's is "Full Speed Ahead." Lindsey's is "Onwards and Upwards."

Aside from a week Dalton spent at a summer camp last year, they've never spent a lot of time apart. That will change when Dalton heads to the University of Florida and Lindsey to Florida Southern College.

They welcome the challenge of separation and know they are a phone call or a drive away.

"It will be different," Lindsey said.

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