At the beginning of the semester, eighth-grade students at Browning Springs Middle School in Madisonville thought they were seeing double. That was when Andie Mills started teaching next door to her sister Allie Mills.
The mistake is understandable as Andi and Allie Mills are twins. Along with being in the same school, the twins classrooms are located right next to each other.
Andie teaches eighth-grade math, while Allie teaches eighth-grade social studies.
“We see each other quite a bit,” said Allie. “We see each other out in the hallways during the transition, so I’ll wave at her and she’ll ignore me.”
Andie said Allie will stop by during their planning period to check on her and answer any questions she may have.
“I’m still new here, so I have a lot of work to do, but I am assuming when I get everything figured out, I’ll probably be able to visit her when I’m done with my work too,” said Andie.
Since their rooms share a wall, Andie said she’ll knock on the conjoining wall if Allie is being too loud in her class, and Allie will do the same to her sister when she gets too loud.
Growing up, they talked about living together in the same house and working at the same school. Andie said she didn’t think it would actually happen, but now that it has, she loves it.
“It is fun working with her because we are best friends,” she said.
Allie added that they live in the same apartment and drive to school together, along with seeing each other in hallway at school.
Although Andie and Allie are considered fraternal twins, they do look so similar most people think they are identical.
Andie said during her interview with Principal Wendy Gamblin, she asked Andie if she and Allie would switch on the kids. She answered honestly and said they probably would, but not until one of the last days of school.
They did not wait that long and decided to have fun with the kids on the first day of school, so they dressed the same.
“We wore the same pants, the same shirt, we had our hair up the same way, the only thing different was our shoes,” said Andie. “The kids were freaked out about that.”
They said the students are getting used to them both being at the school, though they do still get confused occasionally on which Ms. Mills is which.
“They think it is weird. They think it is cool, and they love to compare us,” said Andie.
Allie added that while she and Andie have similar personalities, they have different teaching styles that the students compare.
“Andie is very energetic and all over the place. I am kind of more muted, kind of more chill to the point where the kids say she is like a golden retriever and I am like a black cat,” she said.
Although Andie knew she wanted to be a middle school teacher first, they both come from a long line of teachers.
Allie said their grandfather was a science teacher in Webster County, their grandmother was a fifth-grade teacher at Providence Elementary, their mom taught her entire career at Dawson Springs, and their older sister is also a middle school teacher in Webster County.
Both said their family was the inspiration for them to become teachers.
As children, Allie and Andie spent a lot of time before school in their mother’s social studies classroom in Dawson Springs.
“We were always the first ones at school in the morning because mom was the type of teacher to be the first one there and because she had us, we were also the first ones there,” said Allie. “I’d look at her poster and read them multiple times per week.”
Andie decided to be a middle school teacher while in middle school but said she remembers telling her mother that she would never be a math teacher.
“When I was in middle school, I wanted to be an eighth-grade social studies teacher. I remember saying I would never be a math teacher, and then that changed,” she said.
She went to high school and realized she was good at math, then in college realized she could teach math.
Allie didn’t decide to teach middle school until she got accepted into Eastern Kentucky University and had to choose a major.
Andie did her student teaching at Browning Springs, then got hired on for the next year teaching eighth-grade math.
“I stayed here for a year, then I decided to move to Spain for a year,” she said.
While Andie was in Spain, Allie decided to apply for Browning Springs to be closer to home.
“I remembered how much Andie loved working here. I remembered all the positive experiences she would tell me about, so I was like, Browning Springs has an opening for a social studies teacher, I may as well apply for it,” said Allie. “Then Andie moved back and decided to come back.”
Even though both Andie and Allie are products of the Dawson Springs Independent School System, they said it was easier to get jobs in the Hopkins County School System.
Andie can teach both middle school math and social studies, while Allie is qualified to teach middle school social studies and English.