Eclectic youth: SHS students win beautician awards

Published 10:11 am Friday, May 22, 2009

COURTLAND— High school students from Southampton County faced off with adults at the Virginia State Beautician Association Competition and won.

Students from the Southampton Technical Career Center’s cosmetology program won 12 awards total. It was the fourth year Southampton students competed in the event.

“I’m proud of all of them,” said cosmetology instructor Rita Yeary, who was presented with a trophy recognizing the exceptional overall success of her students at the event. “They’re doing better and better every year.”

Yeary’s high school students competed against adults from private cosmetology schools.

“I feel like the adults have a big advantage, because all they have to worry about is cosmetology for six to eight hours a day,” Yeary said. “My kids have to worry about English, math and science, and they’re only with me 90 minutes a day. So that means they have to work extra hard at home and after school to accomplish what they have accomplished.”

The competition was divided into five categories: barbering, professional, fantasy barbering, evening and fantasy.

In the barbering category, stylist Jessica Taylor won first place and stylist Hope Clark won second and third place with models Andre Rawls, Kenneth Powell and Brandon Evans, respectively.

Stylist Sharmaine Leigh won first place in the professional category with model Tracie Ross, while stylist TaNiya Robinson and model Kwamika Dawson won second place and Leigh took third place with model Shayla Brown.

Clark clinched first place in fantasy barbering with model Jermaine Whitney, and Taylor won the second and third place prizes with models Leon Stewart and Kraig Teachy, respectively.

“This is my last year in cosmetology, so I really enjoyed competing this year,” Clark said. “I loved all the competitions I competed in. I also would like to thank Mrs. Yeary for being a really good teacher.”

Added Leigh, “This was an awesome experience. I’ve always been a model, but when I decided to participate as a stylist I found out what I could actually do and was successful. I’ve also learned that outer beauty brings out inner beauty, and I can do anything I set my mind to.”

Stylist Mariah Jordan won first place in the evening event with model Sabrina Gary, and stylist Ashley Knight took second place with model Sharnae McClenny.

“It was extremely fun and a great way for everyone to showcase their talent and skills,” Jordan said. “Competing and winning in the competition helped me gain more confidence in myself.”

Knight said, “Winning at state competition was a good experience, especially since we competed against adult cosmetology students. It made me feel like I can achieve anything.”

In the fantasy competition, stylist Shanica Holloway was awarded second place with model Raven Manely.

“Competing was an experience I shall never forget,” Holloway said. “It was an enormous shock to my model and I to walk out with second place. I want to give a special thank you to Mrs. Yeary for keeping my dream fulfilling.”