HHS 2018 grad licensed for cosmetology career

By Maria Weaver


Family and friends who attended graduation exercises at Hamilton High School May 25 may have noticed only one graduate wore a pink tassel.

That’s because Beca Browning two days earlier became the first HHS student to become a licensed cosmetologist. The cosmetology program started two years ago, and Beca was in the first class.

“We are so fortunate to have a school board and superintendent that recognize the need to offer programs such as these to our students,” said HHS Principal Gina Poe.

“Students have the ability to graduate high school fully trained and prepared to enter the workforce in that areas of welding or cosmetology.”

“I’m extremely proud of her,” said cosmetology program director Danna Farmer. “I didn’t think this day would come. Her mom and Mrs. Poe pushed her, because toward the end, she was not as motivated as we were.”

Beca smiled and rubbed her growing belly. She has had other things on her mind recently. She will deliver a son in September.

“I didn’t think about it, that it would be as big a deal as it is,” she said. “When I started the program, it was two years away, just a thought, and as it got closer, I still didn’t understand, but then to do it and see it and it’s real, it wasn’t that hard at all.”

“If you’re talented and good, it’s not hard,” Farmer said. “Beca is a great student when she is motivated. She is very talented and very good at what she does. It came easy for her.”

“It was hard to wake up and go to class, but once I got there, it was more passion than anything else,” Beca said. “Mrs. Farmer became more like a mom than a teacher, we spent so much time together.”

Beca was in the first class of 10 students who began the program two years ago. HHS also offers a similar program in welding and hopes to add a phlebotomy program next year.

As a result, Beca has passed her written and practical tests, earned her certificate and has a job waiting for her.

“When I first moved here, Beca was one of my customers,” said Farmer, who previously worked at a local salon. “From the very beginning, she was who I had in mind (for the program). She has loved hair from the time she was little.”

“I’ve been doing people’s hair since junior high,” said the new graduate. “I always wanted to make people feel beautiful, to feel like the best they can be whether it was hair, makeup or nails.

“My favorite thing to learn was all of it,” she said. “Some of it was harder to learn, like acrylics, but all of it was enjoyable.”

Beca said the written test was harder than the practical.

“It’s equivalent to a college exit test,” Farmer said. “They have to know about nail, skin and scalp diseases and things like that, but if it is something you want, it’s easier to pass.”

“With the practical, I forgot it was a test,” Beca said. “I just did it.”

The practical required her to perform a cut, wash, manicure, facial, chemical services, perm rods, blow dry, curling iron, wet set and finger wave.

“The finger wave got me,” she said with a laugh. “Don’t know when I’ll use that.”


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