Texas Tech University

First Class of National Honor Society Members Inducted in Raiderland Chapter

Leslie Cranford

March 15, 2019

TTU K-12 NHS members

Thirteen TTU K-12 students were recognized in January.

Some came in person from places around Texas. Others, from the corners of the globe, attended online, all with one goal – to become the first cohort of National Honor Society (NHS) inductees at Texas Tech High School, part of TTU K-12.

On a breezy January afternoon in Lubbock, 13 students became the inaugural group of high schoolers to join the newly minted Texas Tech University chapter.

Texas students who traveled to Lubbock for the ceremony were Jake Baca, a senior from Vega; Rachel Dishongh, a junior from Humble; Ethan Elliott, a senior from Frisco; Rachel Koerner, a junior from Friendswood; and Anil Shanker, a junior from The Woodlands.

Virtual inductees were Jacob Brothers, a senior from San Antonio; Gabrielle Dytz, a junior, and Flávia Figuerêdo, a sophomore, both of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Adenah Furquan, a junior from Karachi, Pakistan; Melissa Marcus, a senior from Jamundi, Colombia; Clayton Mayo, a junior from Stephenville; Madison McWilliams, a junior from Austin; and Talia Witherel, a senior from Houston.

"I'm really glad that Texas Tech High School was able to offer NHS before I graduated," Baca said. "I think it will look good on my college applications. It also makes me feel like a part of the Texas Tech community instead of just one person doing school work in front of the computer."

Baca's mother, Julia, said she was tickled to see he had been rewarded for his hard work and self-determination.

"NHS is just another awesome benefit of the TTU K-12 program. We have loved it from day one and recommend it to anyone considering alternative education," Julia said. "We also have bragged to everyone how nice the ceremony was and how much we enjoyed meeting and visiting with the staff and other families."

Michael San Francisco, dean of the Honors College at Texas Tech, was the guest speaker, addressing topics such as study abroad opportunities, undergraduate research and community involvement.

"Congratulations on your NHS status, a testimony to you, your work, your academics your scholarship; not only that, but also your service, leadership and other qualities," San Francisco said. "You all are our future, and in you is our trust. To leave the future in your hands, we have to ensure your intellectual excursions, introspection and your ability to find solutions for the future."

Melanie Hart, vice provost for Texas Tech's eLearning & Academic Partnerships, said it's always important to recognize quality.

"That's what NHS does, and what we're doing here: honoring the highest quality of students we have," she said. "It is incredible for TTU K-12 to have been approved for this chapter. It's quite a feather in our cap, because now we have a way to not only say that we have excellent students, but to recognize them officially."

TTU K-12 Superintendent Jim Taliaferro added that having students in NHS is something recognized by students and educators across the country.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to be able to really emphasize what our kids do in class and to honor them in a way that everyone understands," Taliaferro said. "Congratulations to these outstanding students."

The Raiderland Chapter faculty council includes co-advisers Brenda Shupe and Veronica Stringer, and staff members Christie Eaker, Lisa Stone, Tracy Clanton-Smith and Terry Knight. Texas Tech High School principal is Cari Moye.

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