The cosmetology program is already one of the most-requested programs at NTC’s Pryor Campus, but after sweeping last week’s SkillsUSA Regional Competition, Instructor Debbie Qualls now has one more bragging point to use for recruitment.
“These girls were awesome,” Qualls said. “I’m not usually speechless, but I didn’t know what to think when the results were first posted and I saw our girls in the first and second spots in every category. I was thrilled.”
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. Cosmetology is one of the largest fields of competition, but NTC has a long history of producing strong competitors.
“I expect a lot out of my students, but I know they are capable of doing great work,” said Qualls. “This year’s group has some of the most talented students I’ve ever had, and their creativity is off the charts.”
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 work hard in the weeks leading up to the competition, and we also talk a lot about how to manage the stress that comes with it,” Qualls said. “I always expect my students to perform well, but I was not expecting to take first and second in every category – we dominated.”
In total, NTC will have six students from the Pryor Cosmetology Program competing at the SkillsUSA State Competition in April. Those students include:
- Abigail Clark of Claremore Sequoyah – 1st in Hair
- Brooke Young of Claremore – 2nd in Hair
- Jamie Black of Salina – 1st in Nails
- Allie Winters of Chouteau – 2nd in Nails
- Breanna Davis of Pryor – 1st in Facials
- Fawncara Sherfy of Pryor – 2nd in Facials
Two other students also placed in the top five: Lauren Wolters of Claremore – 4th in Hair and Gabby Hernandez of Pryor – 4th in Facials
“Only those who finish first at state will go on to the National SkillsUSA Competition this summer, so we need to tighten up our techniques and finish out strong,” Qualls said. “Beyond these competitions though, these girls are fine tuning the skills they need to build a successful career in this industry. That’s why we compete – to build their confidence and prepare them for their future.”
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 Pryor’s Cosmetology Program, contact the Pryor Campus student advisor at 918-825-5555.