Sibling rivalry reaches new heights with ranks


Kathleen Ortiz

Katherine Eckerty, 9, Morgan Eckerty, 12, and Ryan Eckerty, 9, take sibling rivalry to another level. While Morgan is ranked No. 13 in the senior class, she has helped advise Katherine and Ryan through their freshman year of classes. The younger Eckertys have listened. Katherine is now ranked No. 1 in the freshman class and her brother is No. 4.

Kathleen Ortiz, Photography Editor

   Freshman Katherine Eckerty was sitting in her room watching a movie when her mom Danna ran up yelling her name.

   “Katherine, Katherine, Katherine! Ranks are in. I’m so excited!” Danna shouted.

   All of a sudden, Danna shoved her phone in front of Katherine’s face. As Katherine saw the No. 1 class ranking next to her name, she and her mom started laughing and hugged.

   Soon after, Danna’s phone dinged with a new message. Katherine’s twin brother, Ryan was letting her know he was No. 4. Danna didn’t have specific expectations for Ryan and Katherine’s ranks, but the hopes were there.

   “We kind of joked about how fun it would be to have two kids in the Top 10 in the same year, so that was pretty neat,” Danna said.

   Although senior Morgan Eckerty tries to avoid her freshman siblings Ryan and Katherine at school, she has helped guide them through their first semester.

   “[What I have done] helps them because they know which classes are easier, which is the best order to take classes in, what are some tricks for helping your GPA, which teachers are better,” said Morgan, who’s ranked 13th in the senior class.

   Katherine and Ryan are competitive with each other, but not Morgan.

   On school nights, Morgan and Ryan spend time in the computer room. When Ryan isn’t telling Morgan to turn down her music and they aren’t complaining about their schoolwork, they have a routine of alternating between work and playing computer games together.

   Katherine prefers to do her schoolwork in her room alone. Even though they don’t typically do their work together, Ryan and Katherine talk about their assignments and explain homework to each other when one is confused.

   “I think [being ranked one] would be pretty fun, but we help each other out with schoolwork,” Ryan said. “It’s not like, ‘Ew, no I’m going to let you fail that.’”

   Ryan and Katherine have had only one class together. That was in fourth grade. According to Katherine, they would annoy each other so much that it ended up causing problems. Now they are taking all the same Pre-AP/AP classes, but none of the same electives. Katherine runs cross country, takes Pre-AP Spanish 2 and art. Ryan takes Tech Theater, Principles of Health Science and also dives.

   Although Ryan and Katherine are doing so well, they said they feel a lot of pressure. At their house, the expectations are that they do their best and ask for help if they need it. They put most of the pressure on themselves, but their parents also have high expectations.

   “I know it’s out of love,” Katherine said. “They want us all to be successful in life and to be able to do whatever we wish to do with our lives.”

   Morgan said since they’re new to being ranked – and the so-called GPA ‘game’ – they feel more pressure to perform well.

   “I think the support from our parents can feel like pressure, but it’ll ease up and they’ll solidify themselves,” Morgan said.

   Katherine and Ryan always tried to get better grades than the other, but neither predicted their current ranks. Ryan knew he would be close to four based on the people he compared grades with, but Katherine assumed her rank to be “maybe” top 20. She said she simply didn’t try as hard as her brother.

   After hearing her rank, Katherine wanted to keep hers a secret. Ryan immediately began his quest to pass Katherine.    

   Katherine’s goals for the next three and a half years are to continue to get good grades and to be happy even if she drops rank. Ryan’s goals are to stay in the Top 10, pass all his AP tests and get into a good college.

   They are both going to miss Morgan, who plans to study engineering in college. She is confident they’ll be just fine.

   Their mom said she looks forward to what is next for all three of them.

   “If their rank slips and they’re not ranked as high then that’s fine,” Danna said. “They just need to focus on learning, and the grades will come. I’m going to love them no matter what.”