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Breaking Traditions Award 2009

Congratulations to Missouri's state and regional Breaking Traditions award winners!


State Secondary Male Award

Victor Stewart
Victor Stewart
Secondary Male
Ozarks Technical Community College
Early Childhood Development
Nominated by Jo Fritts

“In a traditional high school setting I found myself underachieving. It was hard to remain focused. When I learned there was a special program called Middle College which made childcare opportunity available to me while earning my high school education and college credits, it was an answer to a prayer.” These are the words of secondary student Victor Stewart.

Middle College is an alternative education program developed by Springfield Public Schools and Ozarks Technical Community College.  Victor’s non-traditional pathway in early childhood fulfills a goal.  “I look forward to a future in children’s ministry with a focus in music.  I believe that childcare is a ministry and would be a perfect career.” 

Josephine Fritts, ECD instructor says, “He has a huge personality that just exuberates, and has made him a huge hit with the children. I have to remember he is a young person, because his interactions remind me of a seasoned teacher.”

Victor says, ”My success is not measured by only the results of tests and homework; it is also measured by the smiles on the children’s faces when they see me walk into the room. I have such a feeling of self-worth that I could only have imagined before entering into the program.”


State Secondary Female Award

Andrea Reinhart
Secondary Female
Cass Career Center
Agriculture Education
Nominated by Jason Dieckhoff
& Clint Johnson

Andrea Reinhart was born and raised on beef production operation, and has a deep passion for agriculture. Growing up Andrea participated in 4-H, was involved in the Missouri Junior Simmental Association and is active with her local Agriculture and FFA Programs. After high school Andrea plans to attend school this summer and has been offered a full ride scholarship to Coffeyville Community College. She plans to double major in Agribusiness Management and Agriculture Communications with an emphasis in Pre-Law. Once she completes her bachelor’s degree she plans to continue her education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City to work towards her doctorate in law. Andrea’s advice for students considering a nontraditional program is “to put others’ opinions aside and follow your heart. Whether or not a certain gender is a prominent force in a career path should never keep someone from that profession.” Andrea’s philosophy in life is “to be the change you want to be in this world."


State Postsecondary/Adult Male Award

Stacy Taylor
Stacy Taylor
Post-Secondary/Adult Male
Poplar Bluff Technical Career Center
Practical Nursing
Nominated by Ruth Hutcheson

Stacy Taylor considers becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse as only the first step towards building his career in nursing.  His future goals include working as an LPN while continuing his education to become a Registered Nurse and eventually seeking a Bachelor’s degree and a Nurse Practitioner certification.  Stacy’s ultimate goal is to become a pediatric Nurse Practitioner which shows he doesn’t want just a job, but a professional career that impacts the lives of others. In the classroom his integrity, maturity, and leadership skills positively impact the other students both in the classroom and clinical settings.   There is a calmness and quiet competence in Stacy’s approach to nursing that is reassuring to the patients and highly professional.  Participating in a technical career center program provides both on-site training and work experiences in local businesses and facilities.  This allows you to network with other professionals in your field of study which could lead to future job opportunities.  Stacy will certainly succeed in his future endeavors with his belief that you owe it to your family and yourself to seize the opportunity to make a difference in your life.


State Postsecondary/Adult Female Award

Lacey McClintock
Post-Secondary/Adult Female
Poplar Bluff Technical Career Center
Graphic Communications
Nominated by Regina Gossett

Lacey McClintock is the post secondary female award winner.  Lacey chose Graphic Design because she has a great passion for it and plans to work with an advertising firm in the future.  Lacey believes one shouldn’t consider their gender a disability when choosing a nontraditional career, but rather an advantage.  She believes there are many opportunities in life; one must be bold enough to step out of the box to find them.  Lacey has worked for a few local businesses and has been given the opportunity to create new logos, design T-shirts, web banners, and flyers.  These have been very valuable experiences for her, while also adding to her portfolio. 

Very often it is difficult to be an adult in a primarily high school setting, but Lacey has shown her abilities to not only provide professional influence but also positive life skills to the other students.  She has taken the classroom challenge and has shown extraordinary success.  She is a wonderful, inspiring young woman that uses her personal experiences to uplift and encourage her classmates.  Lacey will certainly excel in her nontraditional career choice as a Graphic Designer.

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Daphna Jones Spirit Award Winner (1 of 2)

Richard Crowe
Post-Secondary/Adult Spirit Winner
Nevada Regional Technical Center
Adult Business Technology
Nominated by Marybelle Rice

The Spirit Award requirements are met, and exceeded, by Richard Crowe. After 17 years of employment in a local industry, Richard’s company closed. He has a wife and four daughters to support. His unselfish, helpful nature led him to desire a career in the nursing field.  However, heart surgery in 1994 limited his ability to cope with the stress in the health field. Richard’s next career choice was Adult Business Technology, which will give him the skills and knowledge of computer applications demanded of today’s workforce and perhaps help him establish his own real estate business.

Richard attended Nevada’s AEL/GED Program, before enrolling in the Adult Business Technology class.  It has been many years since Richard has had to read textbooks, study, write lessons, practice skills, listen and follow teacher instructions. Yet his determination, hard work, persistence and tenacity have given him a mentor status in the eyes of his classmates. To quote Richard’s nominator and instructor, “Richard’s will and determination allow him to get the most out of his education each and every day.”

Daphna Jones Spirit Award Winner (2 of 2)

Yolanda Skaggs
Secondary Spirit Winner
Rolla Technical Institute
Automotive Technology
Nominated by Terry Brookshire

Yolanda is a secondary Automotive Technology student at Rolla Technical Institute, and the mother of a young child. She works hard to balance both aspects of her life. Yolanda’s instructor, Terry Brookshire, appreciates Yolanda’s work ethic. When asked about her performance in the Automotive Tech Program Terry said, “Yolanda meets and exceeds anything that is asked of her to do, be it book-work or a hands-on task. She always goes the extra mile in effort. She is a student other class members go to for information and help. She is a born leader when working with a group of her male peers because she is not afraid to get into a job and get her hands dirty."

Even though she decided on a nontraditional career path and has other factors making that decision harder to accomplish, Yolanda has decided not to take the easiest route to get her education and training. She is working hard to accomplish what she has started and plans to walk across the stage next spring to receive her diploma with her classmates. She is doing this for herself and her son, and to get a job in an area that interests her.

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Secondary State Educator Award Winner

Felicia Rickard
Felicia Rickard
Secondary Educator
Davis H. Hart Career Center
Graphic Arts
Nominated by Rose DiBlasi

Mrs. Felicia Rickard is Breaking Traditions herself, since Graphic Arts is nontraditional for females. She not only teaches her students through regular lessons, but also finds real clients for the class to give them the opportunity to do real work. Students speak with the client themselves, increasing their communication and service skills. Her nominator says, “I really feel that my graphic arts skills would not be as strong as they are now without her expectations for us and her passion of the art itself.”  A fellow student said, “I had no idea what I was going to do with my life until I walked into that classroom. She has truly inspired her pupils.”

Her nominator continues, “When I am in class with Mrs. Rickard, I not only feel that she is a great teacher but a woman who truly cares for her students. No matter how tired or unready I feel for the day, she always brings a positive attitude to the room. Her words are always encouraging. With each lesson and real experience my skills and knowledge of graphic arts increase. She is truly preparing us for the real deal. She has helped to better our lives in many ways.”


Postsecondary/Adult State Educator Award Winner

Richard Unger
Richard Unger
Post-Secondary/Adult Educator
St. Louis Community College —
  Florissant Valley
Civil Engineer Technology
Nominated by Jennifer Pipas

Richard Unger, Program Chair of the Civil  Engineering Technology (CE) program, St. Louis Community College, was nominated by CE student Jennifer Pipas.  Women are significantly underrepresented in engineering.  Although women represent about 56% of
undergraduate students, only about 18% of engineering students are women.  Two root causes  identified are  uninformed career choices about engineering and classroom
climates that feel “chilly” to females. This postsecondary educator actively
addresses both. Jennifer entered college as  ‘undecided’ and was recommended to Richard as a  helpful resource for making career choices.  She reports: "Rich devotes his time and knowledge to helping students understand the engineering field. Non-traditional students have special barriers to break through.  The help and opportunities Rich provided laid a foundation that will benefit me through my entire engineering career. Rich created a classroom climate where I developed the confidence to succeed academically in a non-traditional field." 

Richard volunteers time educating female students at the Construction Career Center, an industry sponsored charter high school, and supporting functions sponsored by St. Louis  Women in Construction. He works to raise awareness about facets of engineering that will appeal to female students and to engage their interest in pursuing these careers.

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State Employers Award Winner

Fred Wood
Tyson Foods - Monett, Missouri
Nominated by Vickie Fuller

Fred Wood is the Complex HR Manager at Tyson Foods in Monett, MO.  Fred was nominated by Vickie Fuller, the Culinary Arts instructor at the Southwest Area Career Center.  According to Vickie, Tyson Foods has actively worked with the Southwest Area Career center for over nine years. Fred is willing to donate product for SkillsUSA, classroom use and any other event where product is needed. He has participated in the “Festival of Flavors” held at SWACC for several years, passing out samples with a former SWACC nontraditional student at his side.  Tyson Foods is an equal employment opportunity employer, continuing to strive to lead the industry in the hiring and promoting of females and minorities. There are several females in supervisory capacities at the Tyson plant in Monett. Mr. Wood believes in career education and is very supporting of the Southwest Area Career Center. Tyson’s and Mr. Wood in particular, are very deserving of this award.

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Regional Breaking Traditions Award Winners

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Honorable Mention Breaking Traditions Award Winners

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