Brothers push each other to excellence

Brothers Sam Shideler, left, and Caedmon Shideler, right, both attend Meridian Technology Center’s Biomedical Sciences program. The program gives them an academic rivalry and brotherly competitiveness they wouldn’t have otherwise, since Sam is a senior at Stillwater High School, and Caedmon is a home-schooled sophomore.

Paths converge in Meridian’s Biomedical Sciences program

Story and photo provided by Meridian Technology Center

A little sibling rivalry goes a long way in creating a great academic outcome.

For brothers Sam and Caedmon Shideler, that rivalry has finally converged in Meridian Tech’s Biomedical Sciences program.

High school senior Sam gives his younger brother Caedmon advice and a little brotherly teasing about the classes he will soon take as part of the program. This is Sam’s final year and Caedmon’s first.

The sparring goes both ways. When Sam bemoaned how he failed a test in chemistry, Caedmon pointed out that his high standards were skewing his perception. “You got an 89,” said Caedmon, adding sarcastically, “That’s terrible.”

The two brothers banter about who’s the better student, and what standard should be used to determine it. They admit they’re competitive.

That competition is a driving force for Caedmon at Meridian. “People definitely make assumptions about what I’m going to be, but it’s also motivating because there’s either a competition or a name to be upheld, either way you look at it,” he said.

If the brothers weren’t at Meridian, the opportunity for their friendly rivalry to materialize wouldn’t have existed — at least during the school day. Sam attends Stillwater High School, and Caedmon is home-schooled and works at Stillwater Screen Printing. Sam is involved in a variety of high school clubs and organizations, and Caedmon plays basketball for the Stillwater Spartans, a home-school team.

Both also have high post-graduation ambitions, but those will take them down different paths as well. Sam hopes to be a lawyer and is in the process of applying to pre-law programs. He hopes credits from the AP tests he takes because of his courses at Meridian and the study skills he has acquired at Tech will lighten his load next year.

Caedmon, on the other hand, wants a career in sports medicine. “I’ve gotten hurt a lot playing basketball, so I’ve seen some great sports medicine doctors,” he said.

“My parents are pretty happy about both career paths,” Sam laughed.

It isn’t all competition, though. The brothers describe themselves as close. They share a room at home, drive to and from Meridian together and spend time with each other during their breaks at Meridian. “It’s fun to have him here. It’s good to see him around,” said Sam, joking, “I get to hear funny stories about him in class.”