Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Twins Named National Merit Semifinalists

Memorial High twin brothers Skyler (left) and Preston (right) 
Quine pose with their mom, Carla.
Having a National Merit Semifinalist in any family is a huge point of pride. In the Quine household, that joy doubled when identical twins Preston and Skyler heard they both had scored high enough to earn this highly prestigious recognition.

The Quine twins are among 14 district and eight Memorial High seniors named as qualifying National Merit Semifinalists recently. This ranking makes them eligible for National Merit Finalist Award recognition and multiple corporate and business scholarships related to this honor.

Read more about this year's SBISD award winners from all high schools >>

At Memorial High, Skyler and Preston stand out as modern Renaissance scholars.

At 6 feet, 1 inch tall each, they both play power forwards on this year’s Mustang basketball team. They sing in the Chapelwood United Methodist Church Wesley Youth Choir. They began piano lessons in second grade, and play and compose at a high level today. They even like to garden.

They are both considering careers in engineering, but they are huge fans of English and history, too. Chemistry is another favorite subject for them.

At Memorial High’s annual breakfast reception for College Board recognized seniors, the Quines invited their Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. and European History teacher Pat Mantei to join them and their mom, Carla Quine.

Mantei is a favorite teacher because she encourages open classroom debates, while connecting past history to current international and national issues. Mantei is a big fan of the Quines, too.

“They are both brilliant and humble at the same time. In one of our classes, they took opposite sides of an issue and debated it vigorously. They’re recognized by their peers as bright lights in their classes. You simply don’t get terrific students like these two every day,” she says.

Preston and Skyler grew up in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Dallas before moving to Houston. They attended River Oaks Baptist School in middle school. Memorial High School has been their campus home for four years now.

In addition to their own parents, the two young men cite their longtime piano teacher Ann Witherspoon, Ed.D., and a church youth group leader, Greg Barra, as two key adults who have guided them. Their mom, Carla, says, “We are very proud of Preston and Skyler and tried to constantly remind them that to whom much is given, much is expected. We are hopeful they will use their varied gifts and talents to give back.”

Will they attend the same college or university? Both are still applying to colleges and universities, but they do have similar top school choices: Stanford, Rice, Case Western Reserve and Northwestern universities, as well as George Washington University in St. Louis.

Skyler is interested more in biomedical engineering, while Preston leans towards chemical engineering, but both are also thinking Renaissance style about ways so combine engineering with other interest areas.

Can National Merit Semifinalist lightning strike twice in the Quine family? Sisters Madison and McKamie are Memorial High freshmen, but are fraternal twins rather than identical twins like their older brothers.


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