Warsaw, IN- At the Tuesday, Feb. 7 board work session, Ben Barkey, director of the Warsaw Area Career Center (WACC), and Tina Streby, WACC cosmetology teacher, provided an academic spotlight to update the Warsaw Community School Board on the development of the WACC’s Cosmetology program.

Nine juniors and seniors from the cosmetology program attended the board meeting to provide sample services including eyebrow trims, tinsel applications and scalp massages. These students included: Sidney Edwards, Kayleigh Stinson, Madison Strunk, Grace Graham, Sreynin Ruot, Sophia Seymour, Chloe Ulrey, Aleya Hunt and Ariana Wade.  Aleya Hunt shared, “For me, having someone in my chair is not about the money. It's about the beauty and confidence that my clients have when they leave my chair.”    

In addition, Ben Barkey provided the board with an update on the development of the program. The WACC’s Cosmetology program was initially outsourced, but unfortunately the business closed last year. As a result, the WACC has spent the last eight months developing an on-site cosmetology program.  The course will be housed at Lakeview Middle School; renovations are scheduled to be completed within the month. Within the space, WCS will be able to house a public salon, as well as a classroom with work stations, where students will receive direct instruction and complete their coursework.

The WACC has applied for the cosmetology license, which the team hopes to receive within the next 60 days.  Once the license is acquired, the salon will open for public hours. Tina anticipates community hours for three days a week between 12:30-4:30 p.m. in order to accommodate the students’ class schedule.  Services will include haircuts, color, highlights, balayage, manicures, pedicures, waxing and scalp massages.      

Community partners have helped to make the dream a reality. The Kosciusko County Community Foundation provided a $17,500 grant for equipment to develop the cosmetology school and salon. In addition, the Lake City Bank Properties Department supplied eight waiting room chairs and a fireproof filing cabinet.  

Tina Streby has been hired as the cosmetology teacher for the program.  She has been in the field for 29 years, recently having worked as a salon manager and service manager for Ulta and a salon manager at Smart Styles.  She has also owned several of her own salons and served on multiple advisory boards for other cosmetology programs in Indiana and Michigan.   Tina Streby stated, “All these years, I had mentors help me to be the professional I am today.  It is time for me to help my industry and to support these students.  This community has needed this program for some time and I am excited and honored to be a part of it.”

Dr. David Hoffert added, “The Warsaw Area Career Center (WACC) serves the local community as a top ranked career center in the state of Indiana.  Cosmetology has been a highly sought after program.  Unfortunately, our local partnership with a cosmetology school ended due to their recent closure.  Thanks to our Warsaw Schools team, along with the local support of the Kosciusko County Community Foundation and Lake City Bank, the WACC has quickly pivoted to ensure that these students are able continue their career path through the local creation of a cosmetology school.  It has been a great and collaborative effort by the many involved.”