The cosmetology program won the award at least one other time, instructors said.
By SHERRI L. SHAULIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
CHAMPION -- The 88 students enrolled in the Trumbull Career and Technical Center's cosmetology program have some big shoes to fill.
The Ohio State Board of Cosmetology recently honored the program with an award of excellence based on the performance of students who graduated last spring. More than 20 TCTC students, who took their state boards for the program last May, placed in the top 20 percent of all schools in the state as measured by passage percentage.
The state board cosmetology test, consisting of a written test and a practical demonstration on a live model, is required for students to get their license and begin working in salons.
The award, which was bestowed upon the program at least one other time, is just one more indication of how successful the program has become since its inception in the 1970s, explained instructors Marcia Denamen, Annette Austin and Rosalyn Gault.
"I think the students get excited because we get excited," said Gault. "We really love the work and we love the kids, and they know that."
Denamen said the program has become one of the largest in the state. Recent growth prompted school officials to not only hire a fourth instructor, but to also construct a third temporary lab area for students.
"But we work hard to make sure that each of the students gets plenty of personal attention," she said.
That helps the students, who come from 19 feeder schools throughout the county, to feel a bond with the instructors, and in turn with their fellow students, Gault said.
"It's like one big family here," she said.
Austin said once students complete the program, many will come back to visit with current students, take the time to talk about their experiences and encourage those studying now.
The efforts of instructors and former students and the dedication of current students come together each May, when graduating seniors travel to Columbus for their state board exams. The students usually come away with a 98 percent or 99 percent passage rate, said Gault.
"We push them to make sure they take their boards, and we support them all the way," Austin added. "We go with them when they take the tests. We charter a bus, and everyone goes together as a group. I think it helps that they know we are there, supporting and encouraging them."