When twin sisters Morgan and Regan McVey graduate Thursday from Talawanda High School, it will actually be their second commencement ceremony.
Earlier this year, the school provided a special moment for the seniors and their mother, who was diagnosed with cancer last fall.
As the school year moved into its second semester, it was evident their mother, Carey McVey, would not live to see the graduation ceremony.
“Mr. (Tom) York and others arranged to give us a mini graduation ceremony,” Regan said of the school’s principal. “We had our caps and gowns and got our actual diplomas. Mom got to see them.”
“That was one thing she wanted to see,” Morgan added.
Their mother died in February. She was 43 years old, according to her obituary.
The diplomas were on a table at their home until last week when they were returned to the school so the seniors could receive them again at Thursday’s ceremony.
The gesture, the twins said, reinforced their decision to attend the Oxford school.
The McVey twins were unknown to their classmates when they started at Talawanda High School four years agol after finishing the eighth grade at Queen of Peace School.
“We had to make new friends here. We did not know anyone,” Morgan McVey said.
The high school choice took some discussion between the sisters.
“Regan wanted to go to Talawanda. I wanted to go to Badin,” Morgan said.
Now, they both said they are happy with their decision.
“The school really supported us through it all,” Morgan said, referring to her mother’s cancer diagnosis and her death.
While the family tragedy will forever be linked to their senior year of high school, they said they did not let it affect their personalities or interactions with others, although classmates were often surprised by that.
“We are always happy. We joke around a lot. We talk a lot. People forget. Then they say, ‘Your mother… .’ It’s definitely been an experience,” Regan said.
Both young women have been cheerleaders all four years of high school and both have been involved in dance all four years, with Regan on homecoming court her junior year and prom court this spring.
Both, also found satisfaction in passing on their own love of dance by teaching it to younger children at area dance studios.
The fact they are twins earned them a memorable experience outside of school, too.
As their senior year dawned, they appeared in a television commercial promoting the Big Ten conference. The theme of the promo was twins and they auditioned last spring in Chicago, which led to a two-day video shoot, also in Chicago.
The commercial appeared on the Big Ten Network and ESPN as well as other television channels. For Morgan, it was a strange feeling the first time she saw it aired.
“I did not know it was out. I was in bed with my television on and saw my face. It just popped up,” she said.
They said they are thinking about using it as a stepping stone to doing some modeling, but they know that profession is a difficult one to get into and then only lasts a certain time. They are planning a careful route of going to college to train for teaching professions and then see what happens.
Regan McVey is looking at early childhood education while Morgan is opting for a degree in integrated language arts for grades 7-12. They plan to attend Miami University Hamilton in the fall to start their college careers.
Morgan said no one in their family teaches, but she hopes to emulate some of the good teachers she has had at Talawanda.
Regan opts for younger students after her work with young dancers.
“I like little kids. I think it’s interesting to teach them when they are young,” she said.
The sisters are among 21 members of the graduating class recognized with the President’s Award for Educational Achievement.
The twins agree high school at Talawanda has been a great experience. Their mother and their father, Shane, were both Talawanda High School graduates.