Carrying on a legacy?

Do students feel the pressure of having older siblings in the same school?


Camden Wesseldyk

Trinity Lemmer, Staff Writer

Many students have been asked one simple question by teachers or peers that can make stomachs churn. “Are you related to (insert person who shares the same last name)?” 

Quite a few people at PHS have had siblings graduate before them. These people know what it’s like to be treated differently by staff and teachers at the school based on their siblings. How a students brother or sister acted during their high school years can form opinions about the family name.

“I feel like teachers expect students to act like their siblings,” said Natalie Anson ‘23.

Teachers can struggle to realize that you are not they same as your sibling and you may have a totally different personalities. Some teachers form better relationships with their students and treat them better because they knew and loved their siblings before they graduated.

“Mrs. Gower treats me better because she liked Shelby,” said Hailey Judd ‘22

Of course, your sibling getting you on a teacher’s good side can be beneficial in the long run.

“Mr. Cool was my brother’s football coach and had him in class so he knew my family and everything, so that immediately got me on his good side,”  Madison Mallory 22’ 

On the other hand, teachers and other staff may treat you worse based on who your sibling is and how they acted. If they didn’t like your sibling, they may not like you and treat you different then other kids in your class.

“She (referring to middle school teacher Maria Noto-Cassada) was like ‘Oh you’re Justin’s little sister,’ and expected me to be bad and she treated me really poorly,” said  Kyren Anderson 23’

 Teachers often have big expectations for kids who had good students for siblings. Ellory Troff ́s sister Kennedy Troff was a straight A student throughout high school she also had other siblings that have graduated.

“He (Cool)  talks to me a lot and always expects me to get an A,” said Troff ‘23

When teachers realize that students aren’t the exact same as their siblings they start to form different opinions. For Nicole Jewell, those opinions towards her ended up being bad.

“A lot of teachers liked her (referring to her sister Cate) so at the beginning they’re like, ‘Oh I like you’… and then they get to know me and I feel like they don’t like me anymore because I’m nothing like her,” said Jewell ‘22  

Even if you and your sibling don’t have the same last name, some teachers who didn’t know you’re related will still judge you based on your sibling. They may like you more and bond with you over your brother or sister. That was exactly the case for Cole Taplin.

“Once a teacher found out me and Mac (Hemingway) were brothers she seemed to like me more,” said Taplin ‘22

Some students don’t think anything of what it is like to follow an older sibling even though they see it or hear almost daily but for others with siblings that graduated it’s a struggle or blessing that they may face everyday. And others are setting up situations for their younger siblings to follow.