Missouri Honors 2020 Breaking Traditions Winners


Seven individuals were recognized as recipients of Missouri’s 2020 Breaking Traditions awards. The Breaking Traditions awards honor students, educators and employers for their achievements related to nontraditional career paths. This year’s honorees were selected from a pool of 40 applicants, representing 25 Missouri high schools, career centers and community colleges.

The 2020 awards and recipients are as follows:

  • State Secondary/Seniors Awards:
    • Quinten Bell, Poplar Bluff Technical Career Center, Health Occupations
    • Gabrielle Williams, Jefferson College Area Technical School, Advanced Residential Carpentry
  • State Postsecondary/Adult Awards:
    • Taylor Kemp, Moberly Area Community College, Agriculture
    • Kurt Smith, Jefferson College, Nursing
  • Secondary/Senior Spirit Award: Garrett Bridges, Scott Regional Technology Center, Culinary Arts
  • Postsecondary/Adult Spirit Award: Tressa Jones, Current River Career Center, Welding
  • Employer Award: Kelley Pfeiffer, Home Building of St. Louis and Eastern Missouri

“Despite the official awards ceremony being cancelled due to COVID-19, I believe it’s incredibly important to still recognize the hard work and commitment put forth by each of these individuals,” Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven said. “The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is committed to improving lives through education. Shining a light on these honorees is just one way our agency can recognize the many different paths Missourians can take to find success.”

Since 1994, Missouri’s Breaking Traditions awards have honored outstanding students who have chosen specialized career and technical education programs based on their interests and abilities. The program also recognizes exceptional educators and employers who support both nontraditional career programs and the students who find success through them.

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 are eligible to receive scholarship offers from most Missouri community colleges as well as State Technical College of Missouri.