At Howard High School in Ellicott City, students have been treated to a rare and, at times, confusing sight this fall: a pair of identical twin teachers walking down the halls.
“There’s a couple of times recently students and teachers have finally seen us together for the first time and they’re just like, ‘Whoa, I had no idea there are two of you here,’” said Megan Hart, 27, of Halethorpe.
Nearly a decade after graduating from Howard in 2013, Megan and her twin, Molly, are at the school together again, this time as physical education teachers and coaches.
“I just loved my experience in Howard County education growing up,” said Molly, who now lives three minutes away from her sister in Halethorpe. “It was definitely in the back of my mind that I wanted to end up back in Howard County as a teacher.”
For their former teachers, seeing the Harts back at Howard is emblematic of the closeness of not just the twins but the entire school community.
“It’s a great message to kids that they wanted to come back [and] that this is someplace that they enjoyed and wanted to continue to be a part of,” said Brian Boussy, who has worked at Howard High for 29 years and taught the Harts together in his leadership class.
Raised in Hanover, the Harts have been inseparable at nearly every step of their educational, professional and life journeys.
“We’re like the textbook definition of twins,” reflected Megan, who got married Oct. 28 in New Windsor and to no one’s surprise chose Molly as her maid of honor.
Howard County schools run deep in the Hart family: Megan and Molly’s older sister, Alex Via, 29, of Millersville, also went to Howard where she met her now-husband. Their parents, Jim and Donna, both attended Mount Hebron High School and still live in the same house where their kids grew up.
“I’m very happy for them,” said Jim, 63. “They both have so much school pride and they’re each other’s best friend.”
Social studies teacher Jennifer Ford remembers the Hart sisters’ talkative and infectious energy that required them to be seated apart in her AP Psychology class.
“They’re really my only insight into twins,” Ford said. “After leaving them, you have all sorts of questions about how do they get so close.”
Even though they shared the same room, friends, and clothes, the Harts still displayed differences in the classroom at Howard. Even those differences were a source of strength, according to teachers.
Boussy’s leadership class featured student-run community service projects, including food and clothing drives. He said Megan was a terrific speaker and motivator for her group, while Molly excelled at logistics and creating to-do lists.
“It was really neat to have them and watch them sort of play off of each other and, in a way, defer to each other,” Boussy said. “Megan, I think, understands what Molly’s good at; Molly understands what Megan’s good at.”
That dynamic is still evident today, only now the Harts bounce lesson plans off of each other instead of homework.
“They talk about every issue, large and small,” Ford said. “They’re fun because one throws an idea out there and the other one will shoot it down pretty quickly, [but] that doesn’t mean the other one will give up.”
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Megan and Molly loved athletics at Howard, where both played lacrosse and field hockey and ran cross country. Their lacrosse skills took them to Frostburg State University, where they both studied psychology and lived together all four years.
After graduating from Frostburg in 2017, the Harts began substitute teaching and coaching in Howard County, increasingly gravitating toward careers in education. Megan started her full-time position at Howard in fall 2021 and Molly received her own offer this year after teaching in Baltimore city and at Hammond Middle School.
“Any school would be lucky to have them,” Ford emphasized. “They really have a strong sense of morals and they have a very, very strong work ethic.”
In addition to teaching lifetime fitness and health, the Harts remain involved in the sports they played at Howard: Megan is head coach for the boys cross country program and assistant for girls varsity lacrosse; Molly runs both junior varsity lacrosse and field hockey for girls.
With ongoing attendance area adjustments being considered in the county next fall, however, the sibling reunion may be short lived. As the newest member of her department, Molly could be surplussed to another county school as part of the redistricting process.
“I’m nervous about finding out where [Molly] will be next year because I enjoy being together so much,” said Megan, who herself was surplussed to Atholton High School following redistricting in 2019 before returning to Howard.
“Hopefully we’ll find our way back together,” she added with a smile.