Awarding Silver Cords

TBI Silver Cords
By: Todd Martin
In celebration of a large class of high achievers, the Texas Bioscience Institute Middle College awarded silver honor cords Wednesday to 86 high school seniors completing the two-year dual credit program.
The slender, silver cord of rope serves as sleek, formal symbol to a whole lot of work and a whole lot of promise.
Those high-achieving students represent 11 area high schools as well as home schools and include 46 Killeen ISD seniors.
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Chemistry, Environmental Science and Geology Department Chair Ruth Ann Murphy praised students during the ceremony at the Mary Alice Marshall Performing Arts Center on the Temple College campus.
In addition to completing the rigorous bioscience curriculum, silver cord recipients earned 16 hours of community service and 16 hours of job shadowing. A total of 83 of the students are on track to earn associate’s degrees as well as high school diplomas in coming weeks.
Combining the rigors of college-level bioscience with advanced high school work was challenging, but several students said it was well worth their effort to get ahead in their schooling and to connect with similar-minded peers from across the region.
“It was fun from day one,” said Ellison senior Tiani Siuai. “We struggled through it together and got a great head start. It’s a blessing. I think a lot of us have something special and we can get into it sooner and make a change.”
She echoed some of the keynote speaker’s remarks. The UMHB chemistry professor and department chair told students their skills provide them opportunity to continue advancing medicine to eradicate diseases and to research solutions for issues like global warming.
“It’s about being with like-minded people,” said Shoemaker High School senior Miya Leonidis, “there is a lot of collaboration, a lot of different ideas and beliefs. I am a better collaborator from being here.”

“It’s a wonderful experience,” said Killeen High School senior Kiara Vaughters. “At first, the coursework was challenging, but the professors are great and help us succeed. It’s great getting two years of college knocked out and I built relationships I would not have had.”
Murphy pointed out that the students, set to graduate from both college and high school have already learned to ask for help when needed, to be problem solvers and problem preventers and to be self-confident.
Silver Cord recipients include the following:
Ellison High School – Tiani Siuai Ah Sang, Chantelle Cancel, Lauren Cassidy, Jacqueline Dauz, Jazmine Jade Dauz (University of Texas), Aliya Gonzalez, Duha Kesbeh, Laiba Khan, Carolyn Orona, Angelina Perez, Amaya Reeves and Trisha Reeves.
Harker Heights High School – Haley Brown, Makayla Brown (Tarleton State University), Pierson Delapaz, Jannel Hayden, Alicia Holley, Pete Lealiiee, Christina Marcussen, Saphire Maxwell, Jeesoo Min, Alana Ordonez, Valeria Otero-Hiraldo, Jackson Post, Rana Radwan, Raven Stidom (Texas State University) and Steven White (U.S. Naval Academy).
Killeen High School – Ryan Black, Alyssa Cabading, Henry Castillo, Armando Cruz (Texas A&M University), Djhavon Dormeus, Kezia Jones (San Angelo State University), Littzy Paredes-Brignoni, Elizabeth Payne (Texas A&M University), Diego Pena-Orbe and Kiara Vaughters. 
Shoemaker High School – Anjelique Gregor, Miya Leonidis (Texas State University), Erika McElveen, Isaiah Sears (University of Texas), Cierra Weddle, Alicia Wegmann, Alexia Wilkinson (Central Texas College) and Alyssia Wilkinson (Central Texas College).
Belton High School – Isabella Auker (University of Mary Hardin-Baylor), Jazmin Curley, Dante Denley, Allison Jones (University of Mary Hardin-Baylor), Makenzie Katzer, Kamryn Madden, Kyle Patterson, Kara Paulk, Eric Perrier, Basel Wahab, and Austin Woodard.
Temple High School – Victoria Aramanda, Jasmine Armendariz, Lauren Bailey, Kenna Burke, Ariana Caddie (University of Texas), Antonio Escobedo, Ashlyn Farley, David Karr, Kevin Montelongo, Sonja Ramirez (UT-Arlington), Carlie Santiago, Jenna Southerland (Texas A&M University), Molly Strong (UT – Austin) and Grace Thompson (University of Mary Hardin-Baylor).
Troy High School – Levi Pierce (University of Mary Hardin-Baylor) and George Robinson.
Cameron Yoe High School – Blake Cole (University of North Texas).
Gatesville High School – Austin Byler.
Home Schooled – Kenneth Durham IIIKelby KoselSienna TaylorRowan Via and Bridget Hudnall.
Rogers High School – Katelyn Erskine, Alexis Lara, John Marshall, Caitlin Stanke (University of Missouri-Kansas City) and Kelsie Watson.
Salado High School – Eliot Mettenbrink, Sebastian Welch and Aaron Wilkerson.