2018 Breaking Traditions Honorees Announced


Nine Missourians were honored as winners of the 2018 Missouri Breaking Traditions awards at a ceremony in Jefferson City on Monday, April 23. The Breaking Traditions awards honor students, educators and employers for their achievements related to nontraditional careers.

The 2018 awards and recipients are as follows:

  • State Secondary Awards: Abbigail Elliott, Nevada Regional Technical Center, welding technology; and Keith Butler, Scott Regional Technical Center, culinary arts
  • State Postsecondary/Adult Awards: Aaron DeMent, Jefferson College, occupational therapy assistant; and Sara Taylor Gates, Ozarks Technical Community College, automotive technology
  • Secondary Spirit Award: Loren King, River Career Center, criminal justice
  • Postsecondary/Adult Spirit Award: Tee Brown, Rolla Technical Institute, radiologic technology
  • Secondary Educator Award: Laura Estabrooks, Columbia Area Career Center, instructor in geospatial technology/analysis
  • Postsecondary Educator Award: Linda VanDyke, Hillyard Technical Center, coordinator/instructor in surgical technology
  • Employer Award: Brian Hollands, Missouri Welding Institute

Also honored was Jadie Arnett, a student in the Columbia Area Career Center graphic design program, for her winning poster design featuring all state, spirit and regional winners.

“We are proud to recognize these students and educators for their commitment to the Breaking Traditions program,” interim Commissioner of Education Dr. Roger Dorson said. “Their hard work deserves high praise, as they have demonstrated that lifelong learning is important for all Missourians.”

Since 1994, Missouri Breaking Traditions awards have honored outstanding students who have chosen specific career and technical education programs based on their interests and abilities. The program recognizes outstanding educators who teach in nontraditional career education programs for their support of nontraditional students, and employers who are supportive of nontraditional career programs and nontraditional students.

Nontraditional careers are occupations or fields of work in which one gender comprises less than 25 percent of the individuals employed in that occupation or field.

State and Spirit winners receive scholarship offers from all Missouri community colleges and from the State Technical College of Missouri. In addition, each State, Spirit and Regional winner who continues his or her postsecondary education in the fall of 2018 will receive a $100 scholarship from the Missouri STEM Foundation.