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25 Michigan Students Earn Breaking Traditions Awards

May 18, 2015

LANSING – Twenty-five students from across the state are winners of Michigan Department of Education (MDE) Breaking Traditions Awards for surpassing obstacles and stereotypes to achieve success in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan announced today.

“The Breaking Traditions Awards recognize high school and college students who have demonstrated success in CTE programs that are nontraditional to their gender,” Flanagan said. “At a time when there is a call from various stakeholders for building a more-responsive, market-driven schools-to-jobs pipeline, it is important to recognize the efforts of these students and the programs that helped them.”

The students received the awards at a ceremony at the Library of Michigan in Lansing. 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 postsecondary education.

“These outstanding students are preparing themselves to enter a career that will benefit them individually and benefit Michigan by increasing diversity in our state’s workforce.” Flanagan said. “By their determination and dedication to pursuing careers in an area nontraditional for their gender, they are role models for peers who may be considering such a career path.”

The list of awardees, in alphabetical order, by county, for each category, is as follows:

Michigan Breaking Traditions 2015 Excellence Award:

Post Secondary
Mary Margaret Myers
Alpena Community College
Utility Technician Program

Arianna Argersinger
Capital Area Career Center
Automotive Technology Program


Adrianna Jackson
Tuscola Technology Center
Agriscience and Natural Resources Program
Michigan Breaking Traditions 2015 Merit Award:

Kaitlyn Wilkey
Calhoun Area Career Center, Pennfield High School
Law Enforcement/criminal Behaviors Program

Deshaun Jackson
Mott Community College
Physical Therapy Assistant Program

Heather Baker
Clare-Gladwin Career Tech Center, Gladwin High School
Culinary Arts Program
Grand Traverse

Margaret O’Connor
TBAISD Career Tech Center, Traverse City Christian Schools
Culinary Arts Program

Ellie Tolbert
Branch Area Careers Center
Jonesville High School

Marissa Dahlem
Capital Area Career Center, Dansville High School
Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Program

Quincee Denault
Ferris State University
Mechanical Engineering Technology Program

Arriya Harris
Kent Career Technical Center
Criminal Justice Program

Damaris Sanchez
Kent Career Technical Center
Aviation Maintenance Program

Mary Cronin
Lapeer Ed-Tech Center, Imlay City High School
Computer Aided Drafting Program

Emily Corwin
Wexford-Missaukee Career Technical Center, Lake City High School
Engineering Technology Program

Kami Moore
Muskegon Area Career Tech Center, Reeths-Puffer High School
Machining/Engineering Program

Kaley Maroney
Ogemaw Heights High School
Building Trades Program

Katelynn Benz
Careerline Tech Center, Jenison High School
Diesel/Heavy Equipment Program

Jessica Timmer
Careerline Tech Center, Homeschooled
Environmental/Agriculture Science Program

Leah Lewis
Wexford-Missaukee Career Technical Center, Grayling High School
Public Safety Program

Paige Lupcke
Bay-Arenac ISD Career Center, Bay City Central High School
Building Trades Program
Van Buren

Taylor Lutz
Van Buren Technology Center, Decatur High School
Computer Programming Program
Van Buren

Morgan Mullins
Van Buren Technology Center, Hartford High School
PC Tech and Computer Network Technologies Program

Marissa Alcantara
William D. Ford Career Technical Center, John Glenn High School
Game Design & Programming Program

Kealani Sypher
William D. Ford Career Technical Center, John Glenn High School
Electronics/Robotics Technology Program

Chelsea Galloup
Wexford-Missaukee Career Technical Center, Manton Consolidated Schools
Agriscience and Natural Resources Program

To qualify for consideration, a student had to meet the following criteria:

• Complete a CTE program that is nontraditional for his/her gender
• Enroll in a Michigan high school or career center program during the 2013-2014 school year
• Be nominated by a teacher, counselor, administrator, or other personnel employed by the student’s school or career center
• Have satisfactory academic standing and acceptable citizenship and disciplinary history
• Have made a contribution to awareness of nontraditional careers through successful participation in one or more of the following activities:

o Exemplary completion of a program considered nontraditional for the student’s gender
o Successful competition in a program-related event or contest
o Participation in a CTE student organization
o Actively recruit other students into programs nontraditional for their gender
o Mentor other students in CTE programs nontraditional for their gender
o Make significant contributions to the student’s CTE program

Applicants had to provide two letters of support and write a brief narrative explaining their career obstacles faced, plus key accomplishments.

“The MDE is investing in Michigan's future by helping ensure that our children are career and college ready and have the skills the jobs of today and jobs of tomorrow demand,” said Patty Cantu, Director of the Office of Career and Technical Education. “Career and Technical Education is education that works for Michigan.”