Tates Creek High School will bid farewell to arguably one of the school's most unusual classes Saturday when it hands out diplomas to multiple sets of multiples among its 406 graduates.
One set of quadruplets, one set of triplets and five sets of twins will cross the stage at Rupp Arena.
Business and marketing teacher Eric Jackson, who was senior co-sponsor, said the multiples have been a positive influence on the entire graduating class.
"They've gone through a lot together as a class, and I do think those multiples, their strong bonds, have helped serve as leadership for everyone else," he said.
Several of the soon-to-be college students said their next projects will be working on their individual identities.
The 17-year-old Omran quadruplets — sisters Sajidah, Nasreen, Dua'a and brother Jadallah — will all stay in Lexington for college.
"We are individual people; we have our own personalities," Sajidah said. "We're just different people in general. Even though Dua'a and I are doing the same major, we're still going to find our own way and be individuals, like we really are. Maybe people will see us not just as the quads."
Sajidah, Nasreen and Dua'a will attend the University of Kentucky in the fall. Sajidah and Dua'a plan to double major in kinesiology and Spanish, while Nasreen plans to pursue a degree in dietetics. Jadallah plans to attend Bluegrass Community and Technical College.
They share a special bond, the four siblings said, but they also are skilled at interrupting each other's sentences.
Sajidah is older than her brother by 30 seconds.
"She thinks she's the boss," Jadallah said.
"I am the boss," Sajidah said with a grin. "We used to fight over the front seat sitting next to my mom."
Nasreen cuts her sister off before Sajidah can finish. "We still do."
Ameal Omran said her children's graduation is bittersweet.
"All I do now is, I cry," she said. "Because I look at them now and they are becoming adults," she said. "I'm happy and sad at the same time, because they've done really well for themselves."
The Childress triplets — brothers Adam, Ben and Cameron — are all going to UK in the fall. But they aren't planning on seeing much of each other.
"We've had to share a room for 18 years," Adam said. "I plan to never to do that again. I don't plan on making a habit of seeing my brothers every day. I'm gonna be doing my own thing."
The Childress triplets said growing up and going to high school alongside so many multiples has been a great experience.
"I guess we take it for granted. It is really cool," Adam said. "Mr. Jackson said some things about ... maybe having all these siblings can bring people closer together. I think there's some real validity to that."
Anne Childress said it finally sunk in that her boys were graduating as she cooked their final breakfast as high school students. Childress said it is tough watching her sons move on to the next phase of their life.
Fraternal twins Elisha and Pacific Mutayongwa came to TCHS two and a half years ago as refugees from Congo.
"The first few days were kind of hard," Pacific said. "But once we got into it, everything started going normal and we started living life. It's been good."
The twins quickly acclimated; both joined the cross-country team soon after their arrival. Elisha also joined the wrestling team and Pacific found a spot on the soccer team. Pacific will attend Lindsey Wilson College and play for the Blue Raiders soccer squad. Elisha will attend Bluegrass Community and Technical College. He hopes to eventually transfer to UK and major in mechanical engineering.
Library media specialist Lauren Wolfe said she got to know the Mutayongwa twins while coordinating activities throughout the year as senior co-sponsor, including the senior trip to New York City.
Wolfe said their optimism was contagious, and that quality defined all the multiples who walked the halls of TCHS.
"They are so positive, so excited about everything," Wolfe said. "Very appreciative, just wonderful kids. Every kid on that list is fantastic. Which is rare."