Northeast Technology Center’s Afton Campus has three students moving on to compete at the SkillsUSA State Competition in April. SkillsUSA is a national student organization that offers training, career opportunities, scholarships and prizes through annual competitions. Depending on the program, students may compete at regional, state or national levels.
Melissa Caudill, the cosmetology instructor at NTC Afton, took several students to the SkillsUSA Regional Competition held last week in Bartlesville. Cosmetology is one of the largest fields of competition, but NTC has a long history of producing strong competitors.
“The thought of competition can be stressful on the students who are learning to master their newly acquired skills, so I try to make it as fun as possible, while also preparing them for what lies ahead,” Caudill said. “We just decided to take things one day at a time and focus on being as prepared as possible for this round of the competition.”
Caudill’s one-day-at-a-time strategy paid off, as she had two first place winners, a second place winner, and two other students who placed in the top ten of their competition categories.
“My students worked so hard to prepare for this, and their achievement validates all the effort they put in to preparing for the competition,” said Caudill. “Three of our students will go on to represent NTC at the state competition, and we are extremely proud of them for that.”
Cosmetology students have a variety of categories to choose from during the SkillsUSA competition. Some compete in the hair contest in which they must demonstrate their skills in haircutting and styling in four separate tests. The esthetics competition tests students’ skills in skin care. They must complete a facial, apply day time make-up to a model and display their creativity in the fantasy make-up competition. The third category – nail care – involves six separate segments that test application and technique, in addition to a written exam. Both high school students and adults – who compete in the post-secondary categories – participate in the competitions.
“We have the chance to make some improvements to our techniques before the next competition, so I expect our students to perform even better in April,” Caudill said. “They know what to expect now, and they’ll be better prepared to deal with the stress that comes with competing.”
In total, NTC will have three students from the Afton Cosmetology Program competing at the SkillsUSA State Competition. Those students include:
- Jolina Lor of Vinita – 1st in Post-Secondary Esthetics
- Callie Rhodes of Grove – 1st in Secondary Nails
- Taylor Cooper of Jay – 2nd in Post-Secondary Hair
Two other students also placed in the top ten:
- Destiny Vandiver of Miami – 6th in Secondary Esthetics
- Brikklyn Miller of Grove – 6th in Secondary Hair
“Only those who finish first at state will go on to the National SkillsUSA Competition this summer, but the skills they’re learning go far beyond these competitions,” Caudill said. “They are learning to be professionals. They are discovering how practice and hard work turn their talents into a career, and they are finding they excel at what they love doing.”
The Cosmetology Program at NTC Afton is housed in a state-of-the-art facility that opened in the fall of 2015. As one of NTC’s most popular programs, classes fill up quickly, and enrollment for next year is already underway. For more information about NTC Afton’s Cosmetology Program, contact the Afton Campus student advisor at 918-257-8324.