Education comes first for Shiner triplets
July 5, 2010 at 2:05 a.m.
SHINER - It's the middle of the summer, and St. Paul High School graduates Michael, Brandon and Justin Pesek are still going to school.
The 18-year-old triplets, their clothes covered in wax and paint, don't fear hard work.
Every summer, the brothers make a small wage waxing floors and moving furniture at their alma mater.
They hope this summer will be their last.
"Freedom," said Michael, the oldest by two minutes, about what he hopes to find in college.
All three will leave for Texas A&M University next month after graduating first, second and third in their high school class in May.
Being a triplet has been somewhat of a novelty. After living in six states, seven cities and no place longer than four years, the three are hoping to be a little more settled - for now that is.
"Whenever we've gone somewhere, we've always been known to other kids already, so it's been kind of nice," Brandon said.
The teens move like a unit. They finish each other's sentences, all played sports together, and all earned the same Wolters Memorial Scholarship - a $22,000 award toward their college expenses.
The triplets were a huge surprise to their father, Anthony Pesek, a chief warrant officer in the Coast Guard.
"With the three of them, all of the sudden, we had an instant family," he said.
He remembers the moment vividly - then he lost consciousness.
"I hit the wall, I hit the floor and then then next thing you know, the nurse is slapping me trying to wake me up," he said.
When the triplets were young, the family moved around from coast to coast and post to post.
The boys were often uprooted from schools and friends to drive across the country and start over.
"And we're about to move again," Michael said.
"And I don't know how college is going to work out," Brandon added, laughing.
As kids, they grew to become their own biggest supporters.
"When we moved around, they've always had each other to play with," said Donna Pesek, the triplet's mother. "They were kind of like a play group moving around."
But education always came first for the family.
"Everywhere we traveled when they where school-aged, we determined where they would live by the quality of the school district," said Pesek, the triplet's father.
The three each hope to pursue degrees in a math or science field. Michael hopes to study chemical engineering, Brandon math education and Justin biology and eventually become an anesthesiologist.
Justin said he decided on the profession while watching an open-heart surgery at a hospital in Houston.
"Their fields that they have fallen into have evolved from their preferences and their personalities," said Alisa Hybner, a counselor at St. Paul High School.
In the same surgery, Brandon decided medicine was not for him.
"I kind of want to help people, and I don't think the medical field is exactly my deal," he said.
Michael says he hopes chemical engineering will bring a challenge.
The brothers all played sports and did well in school, and they all knew college was first.
The boys each earned thousands of dollars of scholarships to pay for their first few years of school.
"They really wanted to be able to help their parents help them," Hybner said. "They really worked for it; that way, it would help their parents financially."
But no matter what part of the country the family was in, Shiner - where their Czech Pesek family roots run deep with grandparents, aunts and uncles - was always home base.
"This probably feels the most like home," Michael said.
Next month, the boys will load up their van and head to College Station.
Hybner and the Pesek parents believe the days to come will be a lot quieter, but the boys will be missed.
"They're all very good leaders in every form of the word. I know the teachers will miss them," Hybner said. "It's always funny to have them."
The fear for Anthony Pesek is the same as for any parent.
"You hope that you've instilled enough morals and ethics so that they'll do what's right in life and help people," Anthony Pesek said.
"I think it's going to be difficult watching them go," she said. "We know they're ready, but it's just hard to watch them go."