Breckenridge Texan

TSTC-Breckenridge students earn gold medals at contest

TSTC-Breckenridge students earn gold medals at contest
April 23
11:24 2018

Kacee Merrifield knows how to be twice as nice when it comes to winning.

Merrifield, 30, a Vocational Nursing major at Texas State Technical College in Breckenridge, won her second consecutive gold medal in Nurse Assisting at the SkillsUSA Postsecondary State Leadership and Skills Conference held April 5-7 in Waco.

“Honestly, to get gold two years in a row is awesome,” said Merrifield, a Mineral Wells native now living in Breckenridge. “I never thought I would get it once, much less twice. It’s a great confidence booster. And, it pushes you to want to be better in your skill and trade.”

TSTC in Breckenridge won two gold medals, four silver medals and four bronze medals at the state conference.TSTC in Brownwood received one gold medal and three silver medals. TSTC in Sweetwater captured six gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medal. TSTC in Abilene also participated in Culinary Arts but did not finish in the top three.

Gold medalists are now eligible to compete at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in late June in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Last year the state and nationals were life changing,” Merrifield said. “At each level, you have the opportunity to meet people from all different places and make new friends.”

Rick Denbow, provost of TSTC in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood and Sweetwater, said it was an honor to have so many students traveling to the national conference. “It speaks to the quality of our instructors and making sure the students are successful,” he said.

Ashley Schroeder, 26, a TSTC in Sweetwater Nursing major from Llano now living in Abilene, was excited about her gold medal in Medical Assisting. “I feel honored to have had the opportunity to participate in SkillsUSA and to compete with members from West Texas,” she said. “Never did I expect to have come away with a gold medal.”

Schroeder is already thinking about her trip to Kentucky. “I am so excited about going to Louisville and competing,” she said. “For nationals, studying has already begun. I plan to go into it as prepared and ready as possible.”

Other gold medalists from the West Texas campuses are:

  • TSTC in Breckenridge: Medical Math: Corbin Calsoncin
  • TSTC in Brownwood: Technical Computer Applications: Alexander Oldham
  • TSTC in Sweetwater: First Aid-CPR: Ryan Ostrander; Health Knowledge Bowl: Priscilla Green, Erica Jones, Brittney Rivera, Christa Valdivia

For more information on SkillsUSA, go to For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to


Information from Daniel Perry/TSTC Communications

Cutline, top photo: TSTC in Breckenridge students Corbin Calsoncin (left) and Kacee Merrifield (right) won gold medals at the recent SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary State Leadership and Skills Conference held earlier this month at TSTC in Waco. (Photo courtesy of TSTC)

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