Cosmetology program evolves every year

By Kendra Gastin, Staff Writer — When you think of the cosmetology program you will most likely think of cutting hair. But the cosmetology students will tell you that they learn and do much more than just cut hair. The program continues to grow and evolve as the year goes on. The program is directed by Pamela Michel. She has been teaching cosmetology at GlenOak for 25 years. Dahlia Kieffer teaches beside her.

This program has numerous requirements that students must meet before being accepted into the program. Students are required to pass all of their classes and attendance is also looked at before they are accepted because attendance is very important while in the program.

“The State makes us record and make up any hours missed during the program,” Michel said.

Michel takes the students attendance into consideration when looking at applications for the program.

If accepted, the class meets every day for three hours. Math, English and science are counted during the students’ junior and senior year to help meet the requirement of 1500 hours during the two-year-period. At the end of their senior year, students take their boards before they graduate to obtain their license.

According to Michel, about half of her students go to college after they receive their license and most major in business. The other half graduate high school and go work in a salon. Some students realize they do not have a true passion for Cosmetology and decide to work somewhere else in a different field.

“The program isn’t for everyone, but I believed it was for me,” junior Lexie Decker said.

Michel creates a motivating environment for her students to learn to and practice their skills. Michel wants her students to understand why they learn what they learn. She creates activities for her students to do to better in their understanding of the lesson for each day. Students in the program are learning more than just the basics of cutting hair.

“One day I gave my students an assignment where they had to write down all the things they did this morning before coming to school that related to chemistry. They realized that everything relates to chemistry. All products, materials, and clothing includes chemistry,” Michel said. “That makes it more applicable.”

A lot of work and effort goes into having a successful two years in the cosmetology program. Students are given the opportunity to work on the public for practice.

The program has a fund raiser known as a “Hair-A-Thon”. This fundraiser allows students to work on clients and perform services for a small fee. All the money collected is used for their trip to take the State Board exam in the spring.

“I love this program. It has taught me so many new things in such a short period of time,” junior Jordan Bashlor said.

She has learned how to communicate with clients, skills and techniques to cutting hair and doing nails, the importance of staying organized, and managing her time.

The students are able to learn and have fun at the same time. Michel makes her class feel like they are not at school.

“It seems more like I’m just hanging out with my friends with the exception of doing work and learning new things of course,” junior Hannah Marthey said. “It’s definitely the biggest highlight of my day.”

Students including Jordan Bashlor recommend this class to those who are serious about wanting to learn and are interested in cosmetology.

[Updated Aug. 8, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]