• Tess and Daisy Adams
  • The Lovett School, seniors
Tess Adams
Tess Adams
Daisy Adams
Daisy Adams

When 17-year-old Tess and Daisy Adams walk into an academic team competition, it’s double the trouble for their opponents.

With identical haircuts and smiles, the identical twins make their cross-country competitors see double. They’re so much alike that their teammates nicknamed them “Taisy” and “Dess.”

The twins do most things together. They earned Girl Scout Gold Awards last year by helping young children with reading and math at the Holy Spirit Catholic Center in Sandy Springs. They’re co-presidents of their school’s academic team.

They enjoy the same classes and take similar subjects. This year they are taking AP Biology, AP Literature, AP Art History and AP Calculus. Tess plays the viola in the school orchestra. Daisy plays the violin.

“Sometimes people think of us as ‘TessandDaisy’ instead of as individuals,” Daisy said. “They have had to get over this idea that we were stuck together.”

Teachers say they have been impressed by the twins’ eagerness to work and their dedication.

“As a student Tess is the epitome of the honor and character pledge that is the expectation of a Lovett student,” Tess’ advisor, Karl Hwang, said in an email. “Tess has never complained or taken any shortcuts for her classes. She leads by example and achieves a great deal of success through her hard work.”

Deborah Watson, Daisy’s advisor, called the student “one of the kindest and most genuine young women I have ever encountered.”

“She is compassionate toward others, and shows a lot of insight when examining difficult situations,” Watson said. “She participates in class discussions and brings important ideas to light that other students haven’t thought about. She is simply lovely! I would be so lucky to have a daughter like her one day!”

The twins started at the Lovett School in fifth grade. “It was tough moving to Lovett,” Daisy said. “Only 10 people were accepted that year, and everyone there already knew each other.”

“Girl Scouts was always our best friend base,” Tess said. “We like what it’s about, promoting self-esteem and also helping others. Our first [Girl Scout] vest is covered in [award] patches, but it’s not about that anymore. We send stuff to Iraq, do Adopt-a-Highway and collect items for the community.”

During middle school, they joined the orchestra. “I like playing the violin. It provides a nice break in my day, and it’s an interesting way to meet others,” Daisy said. “Reading music is like speaking another language.”

In 10th grade, they won the class English Award.

“Usually only one person wins the award,” Tess said.

“We had different English teachers, and they nominated us both,” Daisy added. “[Then] they decided they couldn’t give it to one and not to the other.”

By their junior year, Tess and Daisy had joined cross-country, the academic team, and the National Honor Society. They like running best. “It’s something I really stumbled across, and it gives me the mental toughness to persevere through any struggle,” Tess said.

They say they don’t compete for grades, but their grade point averages are the same.

There are, however, some differences between them.

Tess has won a varsity letter for cross-country and won the Sewanee Book Award last year. Daisy won the Term Paper Award and the Wellesley Book Award.

Tess likes science because it allows her to “learn about the world around you” and it gives her a “different view of the world.” Daisy, on the other hand, prefers English and history classes.

“I like that reading books takes you to a different time and place,” Daisy said.

The two split up for the summer. Tess spent three weeks at Cornell studying veterinary medicine. Daisy took part in a program at William & Mary on the colonial history of Virginia.

What’s Next:

Tess and Daisy have visited 20 colleges, but have narrowed down their list to six: Pomona, Middlebury, Amherst, Wake Forest, UGA and William & Mary.

They hope to attend the same college.