2019 Breaking Traditions Honorees Announced


Nine Missourians were honored as recipients of the 2019 Missouri Breaking Traditions awards at a ceremony in Jefferson City on Monday, April 29. The Breaking Traditions awards honor students, educators, and employers for their achievements related to nontraditional careers.

The 2019 awards and recipients are as follows:

  • State Secondary Awards – Micah Fisher, Rolla Technical Institute/Center, Early Childhood Careers; and Genesis Llamas, Frontier STEM High School, Engineering/PLTW
  • State Postsecondary Awards – Brendan Owsley, State Technical College of Missouri, Physical Therapy Assistant; and Jorgie Teaster, Ozarks Technical Community College, Agriculture
  • Secondary Spirit Award – Kelley Stone, Ozarks Technical Community College, Early Childhood Development
  • Postsecondary Spirit Award – Joshua Scott, Moberly Area Community College, Associate Degree Nursing
  • Educator Awards – Cara Dirnberger, Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center, Computer Coding and Programming; and Betsy Anderson, Scott Regional Technology Center, Culinary Arts
  • Employer Award – Larry Chasteen, Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center, North Scott County Ambulance

“These students and educators exemplify the importance of lifelong learning,” Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven said. “By choosing nontraditional career programs, they are showing there are many paths to success for Missouri students.”

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.