Class of 2022 sees double with six sets of twins

Photo Courtesy of Ottie Lynne Photography
Roselle Catholic High School conferred diplomas upon six sets of twins on June 4.

ROSELLE, NJ — Guests attending Roselle Catholic High School’s 60th commencement on Saturday morning, June 4, could be excused if they thought they were seeing double.
Roselle Catholic’s Class of 2022 included six sets of twins, a dozen Lions wearing green gowns and caps with green and white tassels inside the school’s gymnasium.

Many of the twins played a prominent role during the commencement exercises. Aidan Moskal-Linder delivered the valedictory address to his classmates, including his twin brother, Gabriel Moskal-Linder.
The Moskal-Linders graduated as members of the National Honor Society, as did twin sisters Lenzay and Naisha Yuschak. The Yuschak sisters transferred to Roselle Catholic from Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth prior to the start of their junior year in September 2020.

Gamael and Samael Joseph came to Roselle Catholic after spending their freshman year at St. Mary of the Assumption High School in Elizabeth.
The Moskal-Linder brothers spent four years at RC, as did the remaining twins in the Class of ’22: Jason and Olivia DiMenno; Allison and John Owens; and Nicole and Efrem Terry, the latter another member of the school’s chapter of the National Honor Society. The Rotary Club of Roselle–Roselle Park recognized two of the twins, Nicole Terry and Aiden Moskal-Linder, as Students of the Month.

The six sets of twins traveled to the school, on the corner of Raritan Road and Pine Street, from three Union County towns: Elizabeth, Moskal-Linder and Yuschak; Roselle, Joseph and Terry; and Union, DiMenno and Owens.

Combined, the sextet of twins spent many, many hours after school involved in a wide variety of extracurricular activities at Roselle Catholic, including National Honor Society, French Honor Society, Campus Ministry, Model UN, Student Council, African American club, senior peer leadership, Marist Youth, homework club, board game club, robotics, gaming club, crochet club, intramural volleyball and interscholastic sports teams — baseball, cross country, track and field, basketball, soccer and softball.

In addition to their extracurricular activities, many of the twins had part-time jobs during their senior year, working at fast-food and fast-casual chains, furnishing stores, supermarkets and restaurants.

“I’m going to miss all the twins as they go on to do amazing things,” said Roselle Catholic faculty member Tom Ferraioli, who taught religion to every RC senior, including the 12 twins.
“What stands out to me about the twins is that they all got along so well,” said Walter Przybylowski, who taught English to all of the twins in his first year at the school. “No sibling rivalries. Very friendly with each other and strong bonds.”
“But,” Ferraioli said, “I won’t miss trying to figure out which name goes to each person.”

During the commencement, the first to take place indoors at Roselle Catholic since 2019, the green-clad graduates sat on blue chairs on a refurbished Coach Hagan Court. Each graduate walked across the stage and was congratulated by President/Principal Thomas Berrios.
Following the traditional turning of the tassels by the new graduates, Berrios and Julie LaBrutto, assistant principal for academics, presented medals to the top two students from the Class of ’22 in every discipline.

Two of the subjects, two sets of medals, produced plenty of double vision.
Aiden Moskal-Linder and Gabriel Moskal-Linder were the top two students in French, while Samael and Gamael Joseph were awarded the medals for finishing first and second, respectively, with the highest grade averages in physical education.

Like some of the other sets, the Joseph twins present a challenge to those trying to tell them apart, at least according to their teachers, coaches and most others who have interacted with the dynamic track duo, who were part of two record-breaking Roselle Catholic relay teams during their senior season.
“At the beginning of the season, Gamael had gotten a new pair of spikes along with an arm sleeve, and it made telling them apart much easier,” said first-year Roselle Catholic track-and-field coach Adia Ledbetter, RC Class of 2015. “However, in true twin fashion, the following week, Samael got the same exact spikes and arm sleeve, and it made it difficult again to tell them apart.
It wasn’t any easier for classroom teachers to tell the Joseph brothers apart.

“I suppose the Joseph twins are the most perplexing for an outsider,” Przybylowski said. “Every so often, a classmate would ask in kind of amused desperation, ‘How do people tell you apart?’ … They would slyly smile in response and give a polite answer that never seemed to satisfy the inquiring classmate. … Even their writing is very similar.”

“I can’t tell the difference between the Josephs, Moskal-Linders or Yuschaks,” said RC religion teacher, Student Council co-moderator and former track coach Kristina Shipe. “They’re all great kids.

“I’ve run into one of the Yuschak girls a couple times at her job, and I have no idea which sister it is,” Shipe continued. “ I briefly coached the Josephs on the track team (in spring 2020) and we used to tell the difference between them by the sneakers they wore. Working with the Moskal-Linders in Student Council, I was finally able to tell them apart by their hair color, but then they got haircuts and I couldn’t tell them apart again.”
Ferraioli, a longtime youth minister who’s worked with countless teens, won’t soon forget the Class of ’22, especially the twins who closely resembled one another.

“One of my personal goals is to learn the names of every student in my class, so I don’t have to keep looking at my seating chart. However, the twins gave me a run for my money this year,” Ferraioli said. “Three groups were easy for me to tell apart: the DiMenno, Terry and Owens twins. Since they were all opposite sex, it was easy to remember who was who. The other three sets, however, were a different story.

“The Moskal-Linder and the Yuschak twins were each in the same class with their siblings. I had to constantly check my seating chart before I would call on them because I didn’t want to call them by the wrong name. When I say I had to keep checking the seating chart, I mean right to the last day of school. Worse than the Moskal-Linder and Yuschak twins, were the Joseph twins.

“(The Josephs) were in different classes, yet I was so afraid of calling Samael Gamael or Gameal Samael that I always checked my chart to make sure which of them was in the class I was teaching. Even when I was certain I had the correct name for the right student, I still checked my seating chart.”

The Joseph brothers will run track at Caldwell University, while the Owens and Terrys will matriculate to Union County College. The remaining pairs will not matriculate together at the same college come the fall semester.

“John and I wanted to stay together like we always have, and I think it will be fun taking new adventures in college with John,” said Allison Owens, who delivered a reflection at Roselle Catholic’s Baccalaureate Mass at the Church of St. Joseph the Carpenter in Roselle on Thursday, June 2.
“Going to the same college as my brother didn’t factor a lot into my decision,” said Olivia DiMenno, who’s headed to Seton Hall University while her brother attends Union County College. “It’s the first time we’re not going to the same school. … I am terrified of not going to the same school as Jason after doing so for 12 years.”

Lenzay Yuschak will attend Montclair State University, while Naisha Yuschak will continue her education at Rutgers University–Newark.
“I think both of us going our own way for college will be best for us and prepare us for the future,” Naisha Yuschak said.
Gabriel Moskal-Linder is headed to Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, N.C., and Aiden Moskal-Linder will attend the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

All of the RC twins said they consider their twin a close friend, if not their best friend. The best part of being a twin, they said, is the bond between the siblings that they said non-twins can’t really understand.

“You can literally feel when your other half is upset and it will really make you upset,” Efrem Terry said.
“Many of my friends didn’t even know there was another ‘me,’” Aiden Moskal-Linder said. “They would call my twin by my name for months until they eventually realized it. And, even to this day, I meet people who I’ve known for years that will say, “Oh my God, you have a twin.’”