They are twin brothers, were home-schooled, both play the violin and—oh yes—they were valedictorian and salutatorian of the same high school class.
Alex and Blake Dugas are now part of an incoming class at Wright State University that is chockful of high school valedictorians and salutatorians—85 to be exact. The students hail from as far away as Cleveland and Indiana.
“These strong numbers show that Wright State appeals both to the highest achievers coming out of high school as well as talented, hard-working students in other parts of the academic spectrum, said Jacqueline McMillan, Ph.D., vice president for enrollment management. “The university works hard to create an environment that enables all of them to succeed.”
The Dugas brothers finished #1 and #2 in their graduating class at Wayne High School in Huber Heights, Ohio. Alex posted a 4.467 GPA, Blake a 4.433.
“I’ve always seen myself as an ambitious person. I always want to do the best I possibly can,” Alex said. “It made my senior year a whole lot harder than it could have been, but it was worth it in the end.”
Both brothers said they really weren’t competing against each other.
“No matter what I could have done, I probably would not have been able to beat Alex’s GPA,” said Blake. “I felt good about where I was.”
As a boy, Alex was into art and reading while Blake enjoyed music and solving puzzles. In the fourth grade, the brothers started being home-schooled, enrolling in the Ohio Virtual Academy, an online public school. They studied on a computer and with the help of their mother.
“We became really good students then,” said Alex. “It was just one-on-one, that aspect of it. We had a really good curriculum. It was very thorough, in-depth. I think that’s what helped a lot with high school.”
Learning to play the violin—the boys advanced to the point where they were playing with the Springfield Youth Symphony—may have also helped with their academic progress.
“It kind of brings out both sides of your brain, the violin,” said Blake. “It makes you really think. Maybe it helps our thinking processes a little, work a little sharper.”
The boys decided to follow their older sister, Kaitlin, to Wright State. They both like the inviting nature of the campus and the fact that it is close to home. Alex is studying business, Blake computer engineering.