Good Things Come in Threes--Q & A with the Kashlan Triplets
By: Noah Chani/Arab America Contributing Writer
The ‘Rule of Threes’ has long been applied in marketing practice, but in this case, the rule certainly pertains to the Kashlan brothers of West Forsyth High School. Born to parents Dean and Judy Kashlan sixteen years ago, the Arab American triplets have long been recognized for their prowess in academia.
As the son of Lebanese and Syrian parents, Dean immigrated to the United States from Kuwait in pursuit of his own higher education at Georgia Tech, before eventually making Atlanta his permanent home. Dean feels the Arab heritage of his children aided the boys intellectually, saying:
“All three of my children understand that their roots as Arabs go back thousands of years. Now that they are Arab Americans, they have the best of the two worlds.”
Meet the Kashlan brothers, who received the distinction of Co-Valedictorians at their recent Senior High School Graduation of over 600 students. Not to mention, they finished their high school course requirements in just two years. Now, at 16, the Kashlan brothers are preparing to head off to their father’s alma mater, Georgia Tech.
Here is Arab America’s exclusive Q & A with the renowned Adam, Zane, and Rommi Kashlan:
Q: With GPA’s of 4.72, did you feel like you were challenged at all by the curriculum of your high school?
Adam: It was relatively easy. The trick is to try to understand the content, which then makes it easier to learn. I have to confess that I never liked social science courses since one needs to memorize more than understanding.
Q: Do you help each other with your coursework often?
Rommi: We differ from each other; we have a different studying habit. But we help each other based on expertise.
Q: What’s the lowest grade you’ve ever received in a class?
Adam – 95 , Zane – 94 , Rommi – 93 (Don’t remind me)
Q: What are your hobbies outside of the classroom and aside from your individual research?
Rommi: Swimming, Water Polo, hanging out with friends, and family time. I also like handy work around the house.
Q: You guys graduated from high school in just 2 years. How long it would take you to complete your undergraduate studies?
Zane: 4 years, plus post-graduate work. Although we have earned enough credit from the AP credit to be considered Sophomores at Tech, we do not intend to use them. We are starting from scratch. Taking an AP Biology in High School is a different experience from College Biology.
Q: How have your teachers helped to make earning a 4.0+ GPA a possibility?
Adam: West Forsyth High School is an incredible high school. It nurtured our curiosity and love of learning. We were attracted to the school after Mrs. Cassie Woodworth, our counselor, allowed us to take more AP courses, unconditionally. We had great teachers who treated us like the others despite the age difference. Principle Karl Mercer created a family atmosphere in the school, and the staff and administration made things run very smoothly considering the student body size of close to 3000 students.
Q: Going to college before you can legally drive a vehicle is uncommon, do you think you guys will make a seamless transition to the college lifestyle?
Rommi: Why drive when your parents can drive you around. Besides, it is very hard to get a parking spot on campus, from what I hear.
Q: How big of a factor did going to school alongside your brothers play in making your college decisions?
Zane: We each had different interests in different colleges. Rommi from the beginning knew that he wanted to go to Georgia Tech since he is an engineer by nature. I was fortunate to have been accepted by the prestigious seven-year medical program at the Medical College of Georgia. Adam was planning to join the University of Michigan business/entrepreneur program, like everything else since we were babies. Logistics trumped all decisions since my parents could not support three different colleges in three different locations, the three of us huddled and picked Georgia Tech because it always felt like home. We grew up visiting the campus for swim meets or when Dad would have occasional business there.
Q: Coming down the stretch to the end of this past school year, was there ever a competitive drive to have a higher GPA than your brothers?
Rommi: We are competitive by nature. We used to race in triathlons, swimming, water polo, and other activities since we were little kids. The sibling rivalry is friendly and positive between us. It would be boring otherwise.
Q: Have your various research positions and internships helped develop your career ambitions for after college? If so, what are those ambitions?
Zane: It was important from the beginning to know what field of study we wanted to pursue in college. We got involved in research work since the summer of 2018. It helped us decide what field of study. Now, we know without a doubt what to do next.
Q: Do you believe having the company of each other has kept you more motivated academically than many of your peers?
Zane: Indeed, it has always been a positive experience in many ways. We draw on each other emotional strength when together. We expect to diverge in college as we grow older and have separate friends, classes, activities and so on.
Q: To your best ability, describe the feeling of sharing the stage with your two brothers at graduation as your school’s Valedictorians.
Adam: Overwhelming. I had to speak on my brothers’ behalf. So, I got to go on the stage.
(Adam’s Valedictorian speech on the behalf of all three brothers can be found here!)
The remarkable achievements of the Kashlan triplets thus far are incredibly unique and impressive, making them young Arab Americans whose names you should get familiar with.