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Vol. 46, No. 27
April 20, 2012


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

Nine Missourians will be honored Monday, April 23 as state winners of the 2012 Missouri Breaking Traditions Awards. The awards will be presented during a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City.

The Breaking Traditions Awards honor students, educators and employers for their achievements related to nontraditional careers.

"One of the Department's primary goals is for all Missouri students to graduate from high school ready for college and/or a career," said Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro. "Breaking Traditions is a way for well-deserving students, who may not take a traditional career path, to be recognized for their accomplishments and encourage them to continue working toward their goals. The awards also recognize educators and employers for their efforts to encourage students to consider nontraditional careers."

Six students, two educators and one employer received the award this year.

The award recipients are:

    • Secondary Award: Austin Broyles, Southwest Area Career Center, Monett R-I School District, culinary arts; and Alyssa Webb, Career and Technology Center at Fort Osage, Fort Osage R-I School District, crime scene investigation/law enforcement.
    • Postsecondary/Adult Award: Michael Lundy, Franklin Technology Center at Missouri Southern State University, Joplin Schools, practical nursing; and Brittany Marshall, Linn State Technical College, commercial turf and grounds management.
    • Secondary Daphna Jones Spirit Award: Taressa Johnson, Ozarks Technical Community College Career Center, auto collision repair technology.
    • Postsecondary/Adult Daphna Jones Spirit Award: Stephanie Payne, Mineral Area College, agribusiness.
    • Traditional Educator Award: Robert Rodden, Jefferson College Area Technical School, metal fabrication instructor.
    • Nontraditional Educator Award: Paul Santaularia, Northland Career Center, culinary arts instructor.
    • Outstanding Employer Award: Susan Adams, Able Manufacturing & Assembly, LLC., director of human resources, nominated by Franklin Technology Center, Joplin Schools.

Since 1994, Missouri's Breaking Traditions Awards have honored outstanding students who have chosen specific career and technical education programs based on their interests and abilities and not let their gender influence their career decisions. The program recognizes outstanding educators who teach in nontraditional career programs for their support of nontraditional students, and employers who are supportive of nontraditional career programs and nontraditional employees. Nontraditional careers are occupations in which one gender comprises less than 25 percent of the individuals employed in that field.

The Breaking Traditions Awards are sponsored by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Missouri Center for Career Education (MCCE), and the Career Education Coordinators. This year's awards will be presented by Dennis Harden, coordinator of career education at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

State student winners will receive scholarship offers from every Missouri community college and from Linn State Technical College. In addition, each winner who continues his or her postsecondary education will receive a scholarship from the Foundation for Missouri Women.

For more information and a complete list of state, regional and honorable mention winners, visit the Breaking Traditions website.