Weather Forecast


Coincidence or fate? Lives of JHS graduates intertwined from birth

(Left to right) Lauren Hagstrom and Elizabath Tagetz will graduate from Jefferson High School in Alexandria on Sunday. They first met in kindergarten, and found that they shared a lot of uncanny similarities. (Echo Press photo by Tara Bitzan)1 / 2
This photo of Elizabath Tagetz and Lauren Hagstrom (left to right) was taken when the girls were 7 years old and classmates at Zion Lutheran School in Alexandria. (Echo Press file photo)2 / 2

The Echo Press first introduced readers to Lauren Hagstrom and Elizabeth Tagetz of Alexandria on March 5, 2003.

The two met while attending kindergarten at Zion Lutheran School in Alexandria.

They were excited to learn that they shared the same birthday – February 27.

It didn’t take long before they learned of several other coincidences.

Lauren moved to Alexandria in 1996 from Plymouth with her parents, Steve and Tammy Hagstrom.

Elizabeth and her parents, Mark and Deb Tagatz, also moved to Alexandria from Plymouth, but not until 2001.

Both girls were born at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, only a half hour apart.

Both were 21 inches long and only 2 ounces separated their weight.

Their mothers doctored at the same clinic during their pregnancies.

After moving to Alexandria, both girls attended Zion Lutheran School where they became classmates and friends.

And if that wasn’t enough, their mothers even drove vans of the same make and color.

In fourth grade, Lauren’s family moved again, this time ending up just two minutes from Elizabeth’s family.

While the families were astounded at all the coincidences, the girls weren’t that interested. They were just happy to have met and become friends.

“It was cooler for us later in elementary school when we could brag about it,” said Lauren last week, as she and Elizabeth talked outside the doors of Jefferson High School in Alexandria where both girls are now seniors.

The two stayed good friends through elementary, sharing many birthday parties together before Lauren moved to Discovery Middle School (DMS) in seventh grade. Elizabeth stayed at Zion School through eighth grade, moving over to DMS in ninth grade.

“We only had one class together in ninth grade and haven’t had any at all together at Jefferson,” Lauren said. “It was so weird. We’ve had a lot of similar classes, too, but just never together.”

Through the years, there have been a couple other similarities. Both girls like to run and both play piano. Their younger siblings were born only a month apart and Lauren’s sister shares the same birthday as Elizabeth’s mom.

“That’s about it,” Elizabeth said with a warm, friendly smile that is actually very similar to that of her friend.

Elizabeth is planning to attend the University of Minnesota, Rochester to study health sciences.

Lauren is planning to go to the University of Northwestern in St. Paul to study music education.

Who knows what coincidences they may share when they meet at their 10-year class reunion.

Tara Bitzan

Tara Bitzan is editor of the Echo Press. She joined the company in 1991 as a news reporter. A lifelong resident of Douglas County, Tara graduated from Brandon High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications and English with a minor in Scandinavian Studies from Moorhead State University. She and her husband, Dennis, and their children live near Alexandria.

(320) 763-1211