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Herriman Journal

Tech students are so talented, it’s scary

Dec 16, 2021 09:35AM ● By Jet Burnham

By Jet Burnham | [email protected]

Students impressed their peers, instructors and judges at Jordan Academy of Technology and Careers annual hair and nail design competition. Held Oct. 28, the theme was “Fall Fantasy.” Students teamed up to style models as characters such as Edward Scissorhands, Cruella DeVille, evil clowns and autumn fairies, using the techniques and design skills they’ve learned in their nail tech, hair design and barbering classes at JATC.

Nail tech instructor Shannon Mechling said nail designers participate in industry competitions regularly as a way to get noticed. “The way to get known is to go outside the parameters,” Mechling said, so she encourages her students to be as creative as they can be.

“It's a lot of pressure for them but it pushes them outside of their box of comfort,” she said. “I just think it's a lot of fun.”

The theme was broad enough that some groups chose to style characters from Halloween movies while others interpreted the theme with characters such as an autumn fairy or Medusa. 

Angeles Garcia, a senior at Copper Hills High School, was inspired by the Day of the Dead holiday, which she loves celebrating with her family each year. Her team created a model with candy skull make-up and hair styled with braids, victory rolls and colorful flowers. Garcia used meaningful designs on the nails, including a sculpted cross necklace.

Logan Carpenter created patterns on her model’s nails inspired by the patchwork dress of Sally and other characters from the movie “Nightmare Before Christmas.”

“You can do anything on nails,” Carpenter said. She used the 3D sculpting techniques she’d recently learned in class. “It was fun to learn and see it come to life,” she said. 

Hair design and barbering instructor Dacia Peterson proudly watched her students creatively apply the skills they’ve learned in class—up-dos, hair additives and special occasion design techniques. 

Addi Perry, Cambria Young and Emma Harmon worked together to create Medusa, using bobby pins, hairspray, wire and teasing techniques to create a wild head of snakes on Harmon’s head. 

“They told us the bigger the better, so we thought of all the characters with big hair,” Young said.

Most of the students in the competition are in their first semester of classes, only one-fourth of the way through their programs. Barbering and hair design students acquire 1,200 hours of experience in the two year program, which prepares them for state board testing.

Nail and hair students practice their skills on each other during class. After school, their services are available to the public by appointment. To schedule nail services, call 801-412-1325 or 801-412-1316. For hair salon services, call 801-412-1311.

Riverton High School CTE coordinator Gayle Whitefield said the classes offered at the two JATC campuses prepare students for careers right out of high school, many of which are in high demand. She wants students and parents to know that there are a lot of good jobs that don’t require a degree. She said that many of the JATC classes are a great fit for students who learn best through hands-on experiences or are curious about their career options.

“It opens doors to careers that they may not be aware of,” Whitefield said.

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