62 Michigan Students Earn 2020 Breaking Traditions Award

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs 517-241-4395
Agency: Education

April 21, 2020

LANSING – Fifty-eight high school and four college students across Michigan, who overcame obstacles and stereotypes to succeed in career and technical education (CTE) programs, have received 2020 Breaking Traditions Awards, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced.

“Building talent has long been a priority in Michigan and we take time to recognize such positive achievements,” State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice said. “These 62 students overcame perceived barriers to achieve success in career and technical education programs that are nontraditional to their gender, which makes them role models for their peers who may be considering such a career path.

“Michigan benefits from Breaking Traditions Awards through an increasingly diverse workforce necessary to meet the challenges when we start the recovery process of the current COVID-19 pandemic,” Rice said.

The 62 students earned in three awards levels: Excellence, Merit, and Recognition.

The highest secondary and post-secondary winner received the Excellence

Award, which includes a $250 scholarship from the Michigan Occupational Special Populations Association (MOSPA); a certificate; and a letter of recognition.

Merit and Recognition Award winners each received a certificate and letter of recognition.

Awards criteria included:

  • Completion of a CTE program nontraditional to their gender;
  • Enrollment in a Michigan high school, career center, or post-secondary program this year;
  • Nomination by a teacher, counselor, administrator, or other staffer employed by the student’s school or career center;
  • Have satisfactory academic standing, acceptable citizenship, and disciplinary history; and
  • Contribute to awareness of nontraditional careers through successful participation in one or more of the following activities:
    • Exemplary completion of a program considered nontraditional to the student’s gender;
    • Successful competition in a program-related event or contest;
    • Participation in a CTE Student Organization;
    • Recruitment of other students into programs nontraditional for their gender;
    • Mentor other students in CTE programs nontraditional for their gender; or
    • Make significant contributions to the student’s CTE program.


Applicants provided two letters of support and wrote a brief narrative explaining the career obstacles they faced and key accomplishments.

MDE’s Office of Career and Technical Education oversees high school instructional programs that teach students skills in a specific career cluster. Most programs offer early college credit opportunities to provide a seamless transition to post-secondary education.

“The Breaking Traditions Awards extend beyond individual students. These awards also represent the quality of the school culture,” said Dr. Brian Pyles, MDE’s Director of CTE. “Clearly, these schools embrace an inclusive student-focused instructional environment supported by staff, students, and community.”

Award recipients are listed below in alphabetical order, by their county of residence, for each awards category:

Breaking Traditions 2020 Excellence Award:

Post-secondary Level

Brent Lawson

Mott Community College

Applied Science-Nursing Program

 

Secondary Level

NyKisha Banks

Saginaw Career Complex, Arthur Hill High School

Engineering/Advanced Manufacturing 

 

Breaking Traditions 2020 Merit Award:

Post-secondary Level

Krista Steffens

Grand Rapids Community College

Welding Program

 

Secondary Level

Kyla Adkins

Muskegon Area Career Tech Center

Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security

 

Sarah Bancroft 

Eaton RESA, Grand Ledge High School

Game Design and Programming

 

Chloe Dutton

TBA ISD Career-Tech Center, Traverse City Central High School

Film and New Media

 

Pamela Fickle

Calhoun Area Career Center, Lakeview High School

Law Enforcement

 

Riley Fillmore

TBA ISD Career-Tech Center, Mancelona High School

Agriscience and Natural Resources

 

Caitlin Fowler

Wilson Talent Center, Stockbridge High School

Culinary Arts & Hospitality

 

Anna Gibson

TBA ISD Career-Tech Center

Drafting and Design

 

Savena Haslip

TBA ISD Career-Tech Center, Traverse City West High School

Public Safety/Protective Services

 

Annie Hetterscheidt

Calhoun Area Career Center, Marshall High School

Construction Technology

 

Mary Holt

Oakland Schools Technical Campus Northeast, Avondale High School

Computer Programming

 

Amelia Mundinger

Muskegon Area Career Tech Center, Ravenna High School

Computer Networking and Telecommunications

 

Aeliana Polinski

Newaygo County Career-Tech Center, Tri-County High School

Agriscience

 

Shaelyn Sage

Eaton RESA, Grand Ledge High School

Heavy/Industrial Maintenance Technologies

 

Sarah Tomlinson

Kent Career Tech Center, Byron Center Public Schools

Welding Technology 

 

Jacob Trevino

Wilson Talent Center, Waverly High School

Extreme Image School of Cosmetology

 

Emma Woller

Montague High School

Agriculture, Ag Operations and Related Science

 

Breaking Traditions 2020 Certificate of Recognition:

Postsecondary Level

Kristen Shannon

Mott Community College

Automotive Technology

 

Maggie Zimmerman

Delta College

Fire Science Technology

 

Secondary Level

Veronical Braeckevelt

Romeo High School

Machine Tool Technology

 

Emily Brock

Lincoln High School

Culinary

 

Cassidy Campbell

Oakland Schools Technical Camus Northeast, Lake Orion Learning Options

EMT Program

 

Sarah Campbell

Saginaw Career Complex, Heritage High School

Welding Technology Program

 

Lauren Colby

Allegan County Area Technical and Education Center, Hopkins High School

Information Systems Program

 

Lauren Daugherty

Careerline Tech Center, Jenison High School

Pastry Arts and Baking Program

 

Morgan DeBoer

Careerline Tech Center, Jenison High School

Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies Program

 

Danielle Ellis

Center Line High School

Center Line High School Firefighting Program

 

Alivia England

Wexford-Missaukee Career Technical Center, Marion Public Schools

Agriscience and Natural Resources Program

 

Abigail Finley

William D. Ford Career-Technical Center, Westland John Glenn High School

Culinary Arts Program

 

Ashlyn Greelee

Kent Career Tech Center, Caledonia High School

Aviation Maintenance Technology Program

 

Evelyn Hinkley

Mecosta Osceola Career Center

Innovative Engineering Program

 

Samantha Hurst

Warren Woods Tower High School

Digital TV Production Program

 

Claire Kelly

Oakland Schools Technical Campus Southeast, Madison High School

Welding Program

 

Kori Stroh

Glen Oaks Community College, Sturgis High School

Welding Program

 

Emma Leazier

TBA ISD Career-Tech Center, Mancelona High School

Mechatronics Program

 

Kyra Lewis

Hillsdale Area Career Center, Hillsdale Community Schools

Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics Program

 

Emma Lobodzinski

Bay-Arenac ISD Career Center, Essexville Garber High School

Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Program

 

Merete Lockwood

Hillsdale Area Career Center, Hillsdale Community Schools

Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics Program

 

Elizabeth Loveland

TBA ISD Career-Tech Center, Benzie Central High School

Information Technology Program 

 

Jessica Mack

William D. Ford Career-Technical Center, Westland John Glenn High School

Digital Media Technology Program

 

Gihon Maxwell

Oakland Schools Technical Campus Northeast, Oxford High School

Mechatronics Program

 

Destiney McGee

Newaygo County Career-Tech Center, Grant High School

Automotive Technology Maintenance and Light Repair Program

 

Trinity McKeon

Bay-Arenac ISD Career Center

Hospitality & Tourism Program

 

Alexia Minnick

Branch Area Careers Center, Bronson Junior/Senior High School

Collision Repair & Coatings Technologies Program

 

Allison Olson

Dickinson-Iron ISD Technical Education Center, Norway Vulcan High School

Electrical and Mechanical Systems in Industry Program

 

Jadyn Paver

Oakland Schools Southwest Technical Campus, Holly High School

Machining Program

 

Aliya Platt

Allegan County Area Technical and Education Center, Plainwell High School

Building Trades Program

 

Kamana Pokhrel

Kent Career Tech Center

Automotive Technology Program

 

Addison Ramey

Eaton RESA, Maple Valley Jr./Sr. High School

Automotive Technology Program

 

Morgan Russell

Tuscola Technology Center, Cass City High School

Law Enforcement Program

 

Taylor Schwartz

TBA ISD Career-Tech Center, Traverse City Central High School

Culinary Arts Program 

 

Madison Semmler

Hillsdale Area Career Center, Hillsdale Community Schools

Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics Program

 

Kayla Shepeck

Menominee High School

Welding Program

 

Phoebe Shroats

Hillsdale Area Career Center, Hillsdale Community Schools

Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics Program

 

Sara Tatreau

Kent Career Tech Center, Kenowa Hills High School

Aviation Electronics Program

 

Deisha Vega-Rivera

Hillsdale Aera Career Center, Hillsdale Community Schools

Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics Program

 

Ella Wanke

Cheboygan Area High School

Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics Program

 

Shainah Wilson

Fitzgerald High School

Automotive Technology Program

 

Rebecca Yeager

Bay-Arenac ISD Career Center, Bay City Central High School

Precision Machining Program

 

Karissa Zerod

Delta College

Building Trades Program