Graduation weekend will keep the Lefferts family scrambling from one place to the next, with three ceremonies in two days. But that’s nothing new.
Marshall Lefferts and his sisters, Rachel and Karen, aren’t inseparable like some triplets. Instead, each has carved out his or her own niche at a different private school. That has allowed each sibling the optimum high school experience, even if it sometimes leads to some logistical nightmares for the clan.
Marshall takes classes at ESD, while Rachel attends Hockaday and Karen is enrolled at Parish Episcopal. That wasn’t planned; it just worked out that way.
The Lefferts triplets aren’t identical, and that doesn’t just apply to their looks. They have different interests and personalities, with Marshall a football player who hopes to play in college. Karen is an aspiring actress, while Rachel hopes to become a journalist.
Their childhood has included some of the same rivalries that all siblings endure. At one point, the three children were each given 30 minutes a day to watch a TV show of their choice. Marshall said the girls would frequently team up and watch a show for an hour before yielding.
Birthdays have always been interesting. The triplets were born on May 10, which happens to be one day after their mother’s birthday and two days prior to their stepmother’s birthday. And it usually falls around Mother’s Day, to boot.
“There’s a lot of parties going on around that time,” said their father, John Lefferts. “We used to throw one big party with all of their friends. As they got older, they wanted to do things more low-key and have their own identity.”
All three took immersion classes at Dallas International School until fourth grade, then attended St. Alcuin Montessori School in fifth grade. Yet even in their younger days, the siblings wanted to forge their own path. They requested to be put in different classrooms to avoid any unnecessary pressure or jealousy.
“We wanted to have our own identities instead of being known as ‘The Triplets,’ ” Marshall said. “We’re very lucky to be able to choose which schools we want to go to. Going to different schools, we’re not labeled.”
In sixth grade, Rachel left St. Alcuin for Hockaday. Two years later, Marshall transferred to ESD. Karen completed her Montessori education at St. Alcuin before enrolling at Parish as a freshman.
“There was definitely a reason for it,” said Rachel, who is an editor for the Hockaday literary arts magazine. “We’re very different, and each of the schools really suits our needs.”
While trying to navigate various start times for classes and extracurricular activities, the Leffertses try to find time for family by having dinner together almost every night.
Perhaps it’s of little surprise that the siblings will split up again in the fall. Marshall hopes to become a preferred walk-on with the football team at Miami after being a four-year varsity starter as an offensive lineman at ESD. Rachel hopes to enroll at the prestigious Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, while Karen aims to attend Columbia College, an arts school in Chicago.
The graduation of his triplets will see John, who worked in financial services for more than 30 years, go from full house to empty nest all at once. He plans to sell his house and move to California to be closer to other family members.
“It’s going to get quiet in a hurry,” John said. “Even though they’re triplets, they have their own individuality. I think they will miss each other more than they will miss their parents.”
Although the trio has never been apart for more than two weeks, Rachel said their adjustment to college will be just like that of other students, with all of the same excitement and apprehension.
“Being a triplet doesn’t define us,” she said. “I think I’m already used to having my independence. Even if my brother and sister were not going off to college and my dad wasn’t leaving, it wouldn’t change the fact that I’m still leaving home.”
(This story appears in the May edition of Park Cities People, on stands now.)