- Associated Press - Monday, June 2, 2014

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Two siblings from New Smyrna Beach are back-to-back valedictorians at their high school.

Scott Mosher found out last week that he was at the top of New Smyrna Beach High’s class of 2014. He followed his sister Kara, who was valedictorian of the class of 2013.

Scott graduated Sunday night and plans to study computer science at the University of Central Florida.

Making the honor even more special is the fact that Scott was diagnosed with autism and a very low IQ when he was 2.

“We didn’t believe the diagnosis to be true,” said their mother, Mary Francis Mosher.

The siblings were dual-enrolled at Daytona State College, meaning they graduated with their high school diploma and their Associate of Arts degrees.

Their father, Rick, Mosher, echoed her sentiments. “They both worked really hard and they both really deserved it. Scott, in particular, he had to work extra hard because he’s an ESE student,” he told The Daytona Beach News-Journal (https://bit.ly/1rBzxcj ).

A thirst for knowledge runs in the family, said Mary Francis Mosher. She is a math teacher at the high school and their father retired from a teaching position at Indian River Elementary School.

They also credit the children’s success to family involvement. They eat dinner together almost every night, which gives them an opportunity to discuss the daily events and any educational challenges they were facing.

Kara Mosher says the fact that her brother also achieved valedictorian status will temper their sibling rivalry over academic achievement.

“We’re not fighting over that, ‘Oh, you were valedictorian last year’ or ‘You’re only second, what was that about?’ ” she said. “We kind of only have a rivalry when it comes to school, seeing who can get the better test scores, better AP scores.”

She just completed her first year at the University of Florida, where she is studying forensic science.

Their younger brother, Steven, will be a junior next year. But he’s not thinking sweating out the academic pressure.

“I’m not really wanting to (be valedictorian),” Steven said. “Just like, top 10 is fine.”


Information from: Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, https://www.news-journalonline.com

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