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Breaking Traditions Award 2011

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


State Secondary Male Award

Dustin Hibler
Dustin Hibler
Secondary Male
Poplar Bluff Technical Career Center
Health Occupations
Nominated by Carmen Hoggard

Dustin Hibler considers becoming a CNA as only the first step towards building his career in nursing. His future goals include continuing his education to become a Registered Nurse and eventually becoming a Pediatric Nurse. With pediatrics Dustin can be compassionate while throwing a little fun in the mix which would be a great asset when working with children. His integrity and leadership skills positively impact the other students both in the classroom and clinical settings. There is a fun-loving attitude in Dustin's approach to nursing that is reassuring to the patients and helps to ease their fears. Dustin is an excellent example of a non-traditional student having also served as the football team captain this year. As an athlete, Dustin learned quickly how the body functions. He also learned the best way to care for an injury which sparked the interest he now has in the nursing field.

Dustin plans to attend Three Rivers Community College, where he will receive the Breaking Traditions Scholarship. He also will receive the Friends of the Missouri Women's Council Scholarship. Both of these scholarships will aid Dustin in continuing his dream of having a professional career that impacts the lives of others.


State Secondary Female Award

Shelby Kittrell
Shelby Kittrell
Secondary Female
Carthage Technical Center
Nominated by Frank Womack

Shelby Kittrell is a Pre-engineering student at Carthage Technical Center. According to her instructor, FrankWomack, Shelby is the best example of a non-traditional student he has ever had.

Shelby started taking technology classes in junior high. She began high school by excelling in Precision Machining. She participated in the Student Learner Program at Leggett & Platt Incorporated, an S&P 500 company. In that program, she worked as a paid intern where she learned Welding, Industrial Pneumatics and Hydraulics. Shelby noticed when working at Leggett & Platt that the ratio of women to men was about 1 to 8. This did not discourage her. Instead, it showed her career opportunities that were available in the nontraditional field. Shelby's junior year she enrolled in Agriculture Construction and Automotive Technology. As a senior, Shelby continued on an engineering skills pathway when she entered Project Lead the Way pre-engineering classes, Digital Electronics and Computer Integrated Manufacturing. In addition to her technical knowledge, Shelby is a very personable individual who is always willing to help others.

After graduation Shelby plans to attend Missouri University of Science & Technology in Rolla. She eventually hopes to design, build, test, and repair aircrafts some day. Shelby will receive the Friends of the Missouri Women's Council scholarship.


State Postsecondary/Adult Male Award

Micah Graviett
Micah Graviett
Post-Secondary/Adult Male
Moberly Area Community College
Associate Degree Nursing
Nominated by Shelli Dougherty

Micah Graviett, a student at Moberly Area Community College, plans to become a Registered Nurse. His instructor, Shelli Dougherty, describes Micah as an extremely valuable asset to any employer. According to Shelli, "Micah is working to pay for all of his education. He also juggles being a husband and a father of four children. He has returned to school at a nontraditional age in a nontraditional program and shows determination for achievement that is rare!"

Micah gives credit to his daughter for him choosing a nontraditional career. In a conversation with his teenage daughter, he told her to choose a career that would make her happy. She asked if he was happy in his job. Micah states, "That simple comment made me realize that I wasn't happy, and that I had always wanted to be a Registered Nurse. So much of my life has changed since I chose to become a Registered Nurse. I left behind a very secure future to chase a dream, and can honestly say that I had no idea how huge the impact of this decision would be. For all I have given up to pursue this career, I have gained so much more."

Micah will receive Breaking Traditions scholarships from Moberly Area Community College, from his Career Education Coordinator, and from the Friends of the Missouri Women's Council.


State Postsecondary/Adult Female Award

Stephanie Ley
Stephanie Ley
Post-Secondary/Adult Female
Moberly Area Community College
Welding & Metals Technology
Nominated by Patricia Twaddle

Stephanie Ley, a Welding & Metals Technology student at Moberly Area Community College, was nominated by her counselor, Patricia Twaddle, "because of her dedication to her studies and her enthusiasm and eagerness to learn." Pat mentions, "In addition to being a nontraditional student by gender, Stephanie is also nontraditional by age. In this role, she mentors and encourages other students who look to her for guidance and advice. She has become a model student and a role model for others."

Stephanie feels she and her husband, also a student, are serving as examples to their six children that higher education is a valuable pursuit. Stephanie's career goal is to help local farmers and ranchers by setting up a local shop to repair and mend broken machinery and tools.

A role model for Stephanie has been her Drafting Design Instructor at MACC, Deanna Blickhan. "She broke the ground for me in my field, and taught me that I can do it. If it wasn't for her - and other strong women like her - it would be much harder for me to achieve my goals. What also motivates me is knowing that I am paving the road for my own daughters."

Stephanie will continue her education with Breaking Traditions scholarships from Moberly Area Community College, her Career Education Coordinator, and the Friends of the Missouri Women's Council.

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Secondary Daphna Jones Spirit Award Winner

Ann Stalker
Ann Stalker
Secondary Spirit Winner
Northland Career Center
Law Enforcement/CSI
Nominated by Darrick Bruns

Ann Stalker is a student in the Law Enforcement/Crime Scene Investigation program at Northland Career Center. According to her instructor, Officer Bruns, "No one works harder at a project or assignment and gives it their all like Ann does. She volunteers first for any task that requires helping someone else. She is a giver and never expects anything in return. Ann will always strive to be her very best, no matter what the odds are or how hard times get for her. Ann's persistent work ethic, passion for social justice, and her daily struggle to overcome great obstacles is why she exceeds the norm for our program and why she deserves recognition."

From her obstacles Ann has learned to lead, solve problems, avoid conflicts when possible, to monitor or be more cautious towards suspicious situations, and to teach things more thoroughly.

Ann's advice to other students is, "to just be yourself, persistently work towards excellence in class and I promise everything will work out. If it doesn't, seek help from your instructor to 'get back on track' to achieving your goals!"

Ann plans to attend Maple Woods Community College. She has received both the Breaking Traditions scholarship from Metropolitan Community College, and the Friends of the Missouri Women’s Council scholarship. Her dream is to become a psychotherapist, evaluating criminals or those with a mental disorder.


Postsecondary/Adult Daphna Jones Spirit Award Winner

Polly Zandvliet
Polly Zandvliet
Postsecondary/Adult Spirit Winner
Rolla Technical Institute
Automotive Technology
Nominated by Terry Brookshire

Polly is a first-year adult Automotive Technology student at Rolla Technical Institute. She has been interested in cars since she was a child. Her father, who is a mechanic, sparked her interest in cars as he talked about Chevy's and engines when she was younger. When she was 15, Polly and her father bought a 1967 Mustang to restore.

Polly says, "The favorite part of choosing a nontraditional career-technical program is the opposition I have faced. When others tell me that I can't do something, I just want to do it even more. If I have the chance to prove myself to someone, I will."

Terry Brookshire, Automotive Technology instructor at Rolla Technical Institute, believes Polly is a very motivated individual. When he needs something done, all he has to do is ask her. He says, "There is nothing too big, too small, or too dirty for her. I am amazed at her skill level already and her self-motivation to do the job right."

Ann is eligible for the Breaking Traditions scholarship from the Friends of the Missouri Women's Council. After graduating from her program, Polly plans to work as a mechanic for a few years to gain more experience before opening her own shop. She plans to hire other women to work in her shop.

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Secondary State Educator Award Winner

Angela Jones
Angela Jones
Secondary Educator
Hillyard Technical Center
Fire Science Instructor
Nominated by Delaney Garber
and Krizta Dixon

Angela Jones is the Fire Science Instructor at Hillyard Technical Center in St. Joseph, Missouri. Delaney Garber and Krizta Dixon, two nontraditional students in the program, nominated Chief Jones for the award.

Angie is an educator who has truly broken traditions. In 1996, she was honored as Secondary Female Breaking Traditions State Winner. For the past 15 years, her career focus has been serving her community in saving lives and property as a Firefighter/EMT.

Chief Jones is a great role model for students interested in non-traditional careers. She focuses on both technical and leadership skills. According to her students, "She treats all students in the program equally. There is an unwritten code among firefighters that is similar to 'No man left behind,' but for Chief Jones, the code is 'No One Is Left Behind.' We look out for each other - no matter what gender. We work together to succeed and pass our skills and written requirements. We support, encourage and help each other to succeed. Gender is not an excuse for not being able to do something. Her expectations are high for all students and she sets the example. She is there with us, making sure we understand what is expected. It's not always easy and she is very tough on us if we do something wrong - because it could mean our life and the lives of our fellow firefighters."


Postsecondary/Adult State Educator Award Winner

Jay Yinger
Jay Yinger
Post-Secondary/Adult Educator
Ozarks Technical Community College
Diesel Technology Instructor
Nominated by Christine Easterly

"Talking with Jay, he made me see that a diesel degree was not out of my reach. He encouraged me to come down and check out the diesel shop. I looked it over and talked to him and liked what I saw. He saw something in me that I didn't even know was there. I also saw that he supported women in the diesel program and never treated them any different than anyone else." This is a statement from one of Jay’s nontraditional students.

Jay has been a Diesel instructor at Ozarks Technical Community College for many years. He teaches both secondary and postsecondary students. Students and colleagues alike find him a positive team player. He loves what he does and is always motivating and encouraging all students to discover their abilities while supporting them academically and in the workplace.

He has the attitude that if you work hard and learn what there is to learn about your field, you'll be successful. It doesn't matter your gender, race, or who you are, if you work and learn you can do anything. He always says that he learns as much from his students as they learn from him.

Jay is very supportive of the Breaking Traditions awards, and was the nominator for last year's female postsecondary/adult state winner.

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Regional Breaking Traditions Award Winners

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Honorable Mention Breaking Traditions Award Winners