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Klarich Twins Will Take Different Paths after STLCC

Sam and Jonathan Klarich

For the sibilings of the Klarich family, starting their college studies at St. Louis Community College-Wildwood  is a family tradition. Their sisters Rachael and Elsa began here. Rachael, the oldest, is studying  Portuguese in Brazil through Indiana University and hopes to study law. Elsa, the second oldest, went on to Liberty University in Virginia and is studying to become a commercial pilot. Now it’s time for Jonathan and Sam to move on. But as these brothers embark on a new part of their academic careers, they will be heading in different directions for the very first time. As twins, they’ve been celebrating the same milestones at the same time since birth.

Though they are both very bright and successful students who are actively involved in campus activities, most students on campus would probably not know the two are related. As fraternal twins, they don’t look very much alike. It’s easy to guess that Sam is the older of the two. He likes to jump in quickly and take the lead, which seems to work well with Jonathan’s laid-back and thoughtful style. Jonathan can be spotted playing the guitar in the campus lobby and is the president of the Music Club. Sam appeared in a jacket and button-down shirt at the induction for members of Phi Theta Kappa and serves as the vice president of Scholarship. Sam’s favorite class is English. Jonathan’s is biology. Jonathan performed in a comedy skit during Open Mic Night. Sam was there to clap for him in the audience. Sam recently discovered that he needed glasses. Jon thinks it’s funny that his brother had no idea that he couldn’t see. There is no doubt that the two are close and enjoy spending time together.

The twins first came to Wildwood as dual-enrolled students while they were completing their high school work. All five of the Klarich siblings (in addition to their sisters, they have a younger brother, Joshua) are homeschooled by their mother, Cheryl, which gave them the flexibility to fit college courses into their schedule and also the opportunity to travel. They spent time in Europe, where they visited Spain, Italy, Egypt and Greece, and also have spent a lot of time in Jefferson City. Their father, David Klarich, served there as a state representative from 1990-1994 and a state senator from 1994-2002.

Jonathan and Sam have chosen different career paths, but started at St. Louis Community College for the same reasons. They both wanted to get their associate degree, maintain a high GPA, save money for their transfer degrees and discover what careers interested them. The small class sizes and ability to interact with their instructors helped them to achieve those goals.

“Dr. (Timothy) Roach taught me how to study. He told me how to write. If you just sit down and ‘free write,’ it’s an awesome trick to studying,” said Jonathan.

He also really enjoyed interactive classes like psychology with Dr. Mary Morgan. “She was an associate professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina. I was really impressed with her.”

Instructors Michael Riat (math), David Cormier (English), and Sandra Flitschle (Spanish) also were among their favorites. They cautioned students about underestimating the quality of instruction at a community college.

“Don’t be lazy. Read the books,” said Sam. 

Jonathon agrees. “Respect the classes. They’re real. Study hard. In calculus, I figured out that I had to do the practice test a million times to get a good grade. Learn the strategy that works for each class and figure out the professor’s style.”

It seems that both will need the money they saved by attending STLCC to complete academic goals. And this is where their paths will separate; one heading West and one heading East. Jonathan intends to become a neurosurgeon or missionary doctor and has been accepted to Vanguard University in California. Sam would like to study law and was recently accepted to the School of Industrial Labor Relations at Cornell University.

Despite their different directions, it is no doubt that the two will remain close and be successful. 

By: Debbie Ward