CORAL SHORES HIGH SCHOOL NOW OFFERS A COSMETOLOGY PROGRAM
Students at Coral Shores High School walk through the doors of a newly transformed barber shop on a Monday. Located on the second floor, the students first chat with teacher Trisha Biondoletti before styling and polishing the nails.
In pairs, students work on mannequins while discussing techniques. Others sit at the nail salon to paint the nails of their classmates.
Just over 90 students are enrolled in a cosmetology program which is new to Coral Shores this year. This equates to five courses for Biondoletti, who has worked at the school for 20 years and has a background in cosmetology.
Entering through the doors, students instantly feel like they are in a salon with hairdressing stations, manicure stations, and spa music faintly playing in the background. Biondoletti says the program includes quite a bit of content for students, ranging from hairstyles to hairstyles and updos.
“They train a lot and work together. In a salon, you are a team, ”she said. “Your neighbor may need help with something. We work to build constant relationships.
Not all of Biodoletti’s lessons focus solely on hairstyling. Once seated, students turn to the whiteboard for the question of the day. Once they have written their answer, Biondoletti goes around to ask each student what they wrote. Biondoletti said it was a way to improve their life skills and communications.
“Listening in the living room has two ears and one mouth. You have to listen to your customer, ”she said. “But it’s not just a living skill for the salon. Not all will become cosmetologists. They need communication for everything they do for a living. It builds their confidence. “
Biondoletti said a cosmetology degree program is needed in high school because not all students will go to college. High school staff recently met with officials from the College of the Florida Keys to discuss a potential program that would allow students to continue their education at the new facility in Key Largo.
“We got the ball rolling,” she said. “It was Autumn Hager’s idea that she started.”
Freshmen who stay with Biondoletti during their final year can accumulate 1,200 hours, continue to take their state cosmetology board, and go to work. Those who need more hours could be transferred to a community college. Biondoletti said the state sometimes forgives the extra few hours it takes if students are close.
For nail technicians, 180 hours of training are necessary.
“I have a student who wants to be a nail technician, and I’m like, ‘You’re going to be a nail technician because you’re awesome at nails,” Biodoletti said. “My goal is to bring this student – his passion – where it belongs. “
Principal Laura Lietaert said it was a great way to keep students in the community, especially those who don’t want to leave after high school.
“It gives us more connections with the community,” she said. “The community has been great with us in supporting the program. We get phone calls all the time about how they can support the students and come and do hairstyle demonstrations. “
Biondoletti said the cosmetology program wouldn’t be where it is today without the help of the late Mike Forster. She remembers a day inside his restaurant he passed by and presented him with a check after hearing about the new class. With his check, Biondoletti was able to order two chairs and supplies.
“We wouldn’t be this far right now without him,” she said. “Thanks to him, we can move forward. And the kids feel like they’re in a living room. It was important to me. “