CONTACT:  Michele Clark
Communications Coordinator

Vol. 45, No. 29

April 19, 2011


Missouri Students and Educators Honored for “Breaking Traditions” in Careers

Six students and two educators will be honored tomorrow (April 20) as state winners of the 2011 Missouri Breaking Traditions Awards.  The awards will be presented during a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City.

Since 1994, the Breaking Traditions program has recognized outstanding students who have chosen career and technical education programs based on their interests and abilities, and who have not let gender influence their career goals.  Nontraditional careers are occupations in which one gender comprises less than 25 percent of individuals employed in that specific field.  The program also recognizes outstanding educators who teach in nontraditional career programs and who are supportive of nontraditional students.

An exciting aspect of this year’s awards is that one of the educator honorees, Angela Jones, was a state Breaking Traditions winner as a student in 1996.  Jones is a fire science instructor at Hillyard Technical Center in St. Joseph and has spent the past 15 years serving her community and saving lives as a firefighter/EMT.

“That’s really what the Breaking Traditions Awards are all about,” said Dennis Harden, career education coordinator for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  “They recognize excellent students and encourage them to pursue their goals of entering and succeeding in nontraditional careers.”

The 2011 state winners are:

Secondary: Dustin Hibler, Poplar Bluff Technical Career Center, health occupations; and Shelby Kittrell, Carthage Technical Center, pre-engineering

Postsecondary/adult: Micah Graviett, Moberly Area Community College, associate degree in nursing; and Stephanie Ley, Moberly Area Community College, welding and metals technology

Daphna Jones Spirit Award (for individuals who have overcome great obstacles): Ann Stalker, Northland Career Center, law enforcement/CSI; and Polly Zandvliet, Rolla Technical Institute, automotive technology

Educators: Angela Jones, Hillyard Technical Center, fire science instructor (secondary); and Jay Yinger, Ozarks Technical Community College, diesel technology instructor (postsecondary/adult)

The Department sponsors the Breaking Traditions awards in conjunction with the Missouri Center for Career Education (MCCE) and the MCCE Career Education Coordinators.  State student winners will receive scholarship offers from every Missouri community college and Linn State Technical College, as well as a scholarship from the Friends of the Missouri Women’s Council.