May 20, 2021

75 Michigan Students Earn 2021 Breaking Traditions Awards

Michigan Department of Education Press Release LANSING – The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to announce that 65 high school and 10 college students statewide are recipients of the 2021 Breaking Traditions Awards.

Each of these students overcame obstacles and stereotypes to succeed in career and technical education (CTE) programs considered non-traditional for their gender. These students are ”breaking traditions” by pursuing careers in which fewer than 25 percent of persons working in that field are their gender.

“These 75 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 similar career paths,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice.

“Michigan benefits from the Breaking Traditions Award recipients through an increasingly diverse workforce necessary to meet the challenges of a 21st century economy and to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. Rice said.

There are three levels of awards: Excellence, Merit, and Recognition. The highest secondary and post-secondary BTA winners received the excellence award, which includes a $500 scholarship from the Michigan Occupational Special Populations Association (MOSPA), an award plaque, a certificate, and a letter of recognition. Merit winners will receive an award plaque, a certificate, and a letter of recognition. Recognition winners will receive 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;
  • Satisfactory academic standing, acceptable citizenship, and disciplinary history; and
  • Contribution 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;
    • Mentoring of other students in CTE programs nontraditional for their gender; or
    • Significant contributions to the student’s CTE program.

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

MDE’s Office of CTE 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. These programs support Michigan’s Top 10 Strategic Education Plan guiding principle to provide students with access to high-quality instruction regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, economic status, native language, or physical, emotional, and cognitive abilities to close the student achievement and opportunity gaps that currently exist.

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

Award recipients are listed below in alphabetical order for each Breaking Traditions Awards category:

Michigan Breaking Traditions 2021 Excellence Award:

Post-secondary Level

Christopher Swanson

Ferris State University

Early Childhood Education Program

Secondary Level

Amanda Feeley

Petoskey High School

Engineering Drafting & Design

 Michigan Breaking Traditions 2021 Merit Award:

Post-secondary Level

Hannah Price

Ferris State University

Construction Technology & Management Program

 Matthew Frazzini

Ferris State University

Dental Hygiene Program

 Victoria Hall

Ferris State University

Welding Technology Program

Secondary Level

Cody Veldhouse

Allegan County Area Technical and Education Center, Hopkins High School

Health Care Science Foundations Program

 Kennedy Ellis

Alpena High School

Agriscience Program

 Jennifer Ogden

Calhoun Area Career Center, Pennfield High School

Criminal Justice/Criminal Investigations Program

 Daisy Leinberger

Bay Arenac ISD Career Center, Western High School

Agriculture and Natural Resources Program

Erika Terry

COOR ISD, Roscommon Area Public Schools

Public Safety Program

Cylee Hughes

Calhoun Area Career Center, Bellevue Jr./Sr. High School

Construction Technology Program

Allison Zwiker

Eaton RESA, Charlotte Public Schools

Computer Security Program

Ella Meyers

Traverse Bay Area ISD Career Tech Center

Power Equipment Technology Program

Matthew Williams

Traverse Bay Area ISD Career Tech Center

Allied Health Program

Andrea Booms

Huron Area Technical Center

Power Technology Program

Nicholas MacAlpine

Huron Area Technical Center

Health Science Program

Aurora Burton

Kalamazoo RESA

Aviation Technology Program

Miya Wolff

Lapeer Ed-Tech Center, Dryden Junior/Senior High School

CAD Program

Melissa Dardini

Center Line High School

Law Enforcement Program

Alyssa Fiantaco

Henry Ford II High School – Utica Community Schools

General Woodworking Program

Abigail Markel

Bay Arenac ISD Career Center, Midland High School

Welding Technology Program

London Eldridge

Montcalm Area Career Center, Central Montcalm High School

Agriscience Program

Chris Schaub

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

Future Educators Program

Hailey Jones

Careerline Tech Center, Allendale High School

Public Safety and Security Services Program

Matthew Kieffer

New Lothrop High School

Education Program

Mariah Mellendorf

Tuscola Technology Center, Cass City Jr./Sr. High School

Computer Technology Program

Gracie Summerfield

Traverse Bay Area ISD Career Tech Center

Drafting and Design Program

Michigan Breaking Traditions 2021 Certificate of Recognition:

Postsecondary Level

Isaac Smith

Mott Community College

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

 Hunter Ruppe

Gogebic Community College

Nursing Program

 Justin Hunt

Washtenaw Community College

Nursing Program

 Timothy Guttman

Washtenaw Community College

Nursing Program

Sam Keim

Washtenaw Community College

Computer Science Program

Scott Stewart

Washtenaw Community College

Applied Science Child Development Program

 econdary Level

Hope Lambert

Allegan County Area Technical and Education Center, Allegan High School

Engineering Technologies Program

Kallie Crouch

Traverse Bay Area ISD Career Tech Center, Mancelona High School

Front Street Writers Program

Spencer Olds

Traverse Bay Area ISD Career Tech Center, Mancelona High School

Business Careers Program

Alayna Bernreuter

Bay Arenac ISD Career Center, Pinconning High School

Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Program

Shelby Taber

Branch Area Careers Center, Coldwater High School

Engineering CAD/CAM and Architecture Program

Emily Taylor

Glen Oaks Community College

Welding Program

Jassmine Warner

Clare-Gladwin RESD, Farwell High School

Culinary Arts Program

Alyssa Luzkow

Eaton RESA, Dewitt High School

Auto Technology Program

Lillyanne Laws

Eaton RESA, Maple Valley High School

Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice Program

Amaiya Lenear

Genesee Career Institute, Flushing High School

Welding Program

Isobel Bowker

Traverse Bay Area ISD Career Tech Center, Traverse City Central High School

Manufacturing Technology Academy Program

Caroline Clark

Traverse Bay Area ISD Career Tech Center, Kingsley High School

Culinary Arts Program

Maggie Schwabe

Traverse Bay Area ISD Career Tech Center, Grand Traverse Academy

Information Technology Program

Elyse Wejrowski

Traverse Bay Area ISD Career Tech Center, Traverse City Central High School

Welding & Fabrication Program

Madelyn Linzner

Tuscola Technology Center

Electronics Program

Haylee Goodall

Vicksburg High School

Mechatronics Program

Karley Way

Allegan County Area Technical and Education Center, Allegan High School

Engineering/Architectural Design Program

Cora Kirchofer

Traverse Bay Area ISD Career Tech Center, Kalkaska High School

Public Safety/Protective Services Program

Mia Ramos

Kent Career Technical Center, Sparta High School

Welding Technology Program

Dayana Torees-Duran

Kent Career Technical Center, Hope Academy

Cooking and Related Culinary Arts Program

Hannah Dashner

Traverse Bay Area ISD Career Tech Center, St. Mary Catholic High School

Agriscience and Natural Resources Program

Alaina Frank

Traverse Bay Area ISD Career Tech Center, Leland Public Schools

Construction Trades Program

Camryn Ihrke

Hartland High School

Computer Programmer Program

Nina Call

Warren Woods Tower High School

Cooking and Related Culinary Arts Program

Tamira Jackson

Fitzgerald High School – Fitzgerald Public Schools

Digital Media Production Program

Savannah Malloy

Lincoln High School – Van Dyke Public Schools

Culinary Arts Program

Kameron Karp

Marquette Senior High School

Health Occupations Program

Paige Ludwig

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

Engineering Tech Program

Cole Stone

Montcalm Area Career Center, Carson City Crystal

Health Program

Ann Bogen

Newaygo County Career-Tech Center, Fremont High School

Automotive Program

Bianca Rickert

Newaygo County Career-Tech Center, Grant High School

Agriscience Program

Joshua Buckowing

Newaygo County Career-Tech Center, Newaygo High School

Business Applied Technology Program

Amelia Goltz

Newaygo County Career-Tech Center, Newaygo High School

Culinary Art Program

Farzeen Fazili

William D. Ford Career-Technical Center, Northville High School

Health Occupations Program

Mailee Hilkowski

Wexford-Missaukee Career Technical Center, Pine River Area Schools

Digital Media Production Program

Mayson Levandoski

Careerline Tech Center, West Ottawa North High School

Health Careers Phlebotomy Program

Liliana Rapp

Careerline Tech Center, Zeeland West High School

Mechatronics and Robotics Program

Madelyn Rinkevicz

Careerline Tech Center, Grand Haven High School

Software and Game Development Program

Aubrey Stroud

Tuscola Technology Center, Millington High School

Law Enforcement Program

Latavia Hall

William D. Ford Career-Technical Center, Belleville High School

Construction Technology Program

Elizabeth Guldner

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

Architecture and Engineering Design 1 Program

Nicole Weber

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

Electronics/Robotics Technology Program

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2021 Breaking Traditions Awards .pdf