May 13, 2022



Holland, MI- Five Careerline Tech Center students were recipients of the 2022 Breaking Tradition Awards from the Michigan Department of Education. The awards are given to students who have demonstrated success in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs that are nontraditional to their gender. The recipients are:

  • Jazmin Jimenez CTC Public Safety and Security Services program and West Ottawa High School senior
    • Breaking Traditions Merit Award
  • John Nieboer CTC Health Careers/Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) program and Coopersville High School junior
    • Breaking Traditions Merit Award
  • Kavan Belmont CTC Health Careers/Phlebotomy program and Hudsonville High School junior
    • Breaking Traditions Certificate of Recognition
  • Izabella Colunga CTC Automotive Technology program and West Ottawa High School junior
    • Breaking Traditions Certificate of Recognition
  • Angel Zarate CTC Advanced Healthcare program and Allendale High School senior
    • Breaking Traditions Certificate of Recognition

Jazmin Jimenez John Nieboer Jazmin and Instructor Lee Hoeksema

Lisa Slater, Health Careers/CNA program instructor for CTC, said Nieboer is a hard-working student with clear goals for his life. “John loves learning about healthcare and seizes every opportunity and experience possible which is one reason I nominated him for this award,” Slater said. “He strives to be the best he can be and wants others to achieve that also.” 

To be considered for the award, nominees must complete a CTE program nontraditional to their gender, be nominated by a staffer employed by the student’s school or career center, have satisfactory academic standing and disciplinary history, and contribute to awareness of nontraditional careers through activities including successful competition in a program related event or contest and participation in a CTE student organization. Students must also provide two letters of support and write a brief narrative explaining their career obstacles faced and key accomplishments.

“I plan to go to medical school and become an anesthesiologist,” Nieboer said. “The Health Careers program gave me an understanding of what life is like in the medical field, taught me fundamental skills like taking vital signs and more complicated lessons such as anatomy and how to properly care for someone. All of this is invaluable for me to learn before college and medical school.”

Director of Careerline Tech Center Dave Searles said these students are role models and can inspire others to follow their own career passion. “We encourage all our students to connect with careers that fit their talents and skills, regardless of their gender or background,” said Searles. “I’m proud of all our students considered non-traditional at Careerline Tech Center who feel empowered and supported by our staff to follow their career dreams. These individuals serve as inspiration for other students.”

A committee composed of Michigan Department Education (MDE) staff evaluated all complete eligible applications using a 100-point scale. Award recipients were selected based upon the information provided in the application, technical skill level, and the ability to be a nontraditional role model for other students.

Operated by Ottawa Area ISD, Careerline Tech Center prepares high school juniors and seniors for tomorrow's workforce by providing career and technical education in more than 25 career areas. CTC serves students from public and private high schools, as well as those who are homeschooled, within the following local school districts: Allendale, Coopersville, Grand Haven, Hamilton, Holland, Hudsonville, Jenison, Saugatuck, Spring Lake, West Ottawa, and Zeeland.

For more information, contact Michelle Ready at (616) 738-8940, ext. 4093 or