Cosmetologists Excel in Local SkillsUSA Competition

The Grant Career Center Cosmetology students recently participated in a local SkillsUSA contest to earn spots on the team competing at regional competition in late February. The students were competing for the opportunity to represent Grant in the SkillsUSA Cosmetology contest where they will showcase their skills in haircutting and styling. The junior students were also competing to earn a spot on the Nail Care Team, where they will focus on hand and nail care as well as the artistry of nail art.

Seven junior and senior students participated in the Cosmetology competition that included a written test and a technical haircut and style on a mannequin. The participants received an instruction sheet with the representation of a cut and style that they were to interpret and to re-create in a given amount of time. The students also demonstrated three types of curls in a wet set and styled it into an up-do or evening style.

The styles were graded and the cut was checked for accuracy by guest judge Jen Fitzgerald, manager at the Amelia Great Clips Salon.

Felicity-Franklin senior Allie Rodriguez took part in the competition because she wanted the experience of competition to increase her skill set. “The competition gave me a great opportunity to build experiences for my career and showcase my skills.”

First place honors and a spot on the regional competition team were won by Candice Kirtley, a senior from New Richmond High School. Candice said of her win, “I was proud that I excelled in the competition and showcased my skills. I competed as a junior last year and that motivated me to try harder and put forth my best efforts. This experience is building my confidence and preparing me to take my state board exam in the spring.” Candice is putting in extra hours after school to prepare for the February 28th competition by completing haircuts with instructor Mrs. Janelle Baudendistel and searching for the perfect up-do style and fashion hair color to showcase her skills.

Second place honors were awarded to senior Allie Rodriguez (Felicity-Franklin), while third place honors were earned by junior Emily Jones (Bethel-Tate). 

In the Nail Care contest, four junior students competed for a spot on the team. The winner of this competition has the honor of serving as the nail model for this year’s competition and the competitor for the following year. This allows the students to see the contest first hand and prepare their artwork for the contest.

The students designed and created a unique nail art sample for their competition. The final products were judged by staff member, Linda Back, for creativity and execution. First place honors were won by Bethel-Tate junior Kelsee Lee, the second place winner was New Richmond junior Carlie Treat, and third place honors were awarded to Bethel-Tate junior Rachel Brown.

All students found the contest experience to be a valuable learning experience. Junior instructor, Mrs. Lori Messner, said that many of the students felt that participating in the contest helped to prepare them for the nerves they experience at the State Board exam. “This contest helps them to face the “fear factor” that working under pressure brings. I am very proud of all the students who challenged themselves in this contest. It takes courage to try something new!”

If your sophomore son or daughter is interested in careers in the cosmetology profession, you can investigate career options and college partnerships with the Cosmetology program on our website at, or call the Career Center for more information at 513-734-6222.

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