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HNHS students to get another direction to choose

Students attending Huntington North High School will have another choice in the direction of their education beginning next year.

The Huntington County Community Schools Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Monday, Jan. 12, to add a cosmetology course to the curriculum offered at the high school. Participating students would attend regular classes half the school day, with the remainder of their required school hours spent at the Huntington Beauty College.

"I'm very much behind this," HCCSC Superintendent Tracey Shafer said. "I'm appreciative of the beauty college for offering this to us. It's another opportunity for our students to go directly into the workforce."

The school board dispensed with its usual second reading of the proposal, instead opting to move forward on the cosmetology course on its first reading.

"I'm very much behind this - I'd volunteer to be the first person to get a haircut," School Board President Kevin Patrick said. "I'll make a motion so we can get this moving."

Huntington North Principal Jeremy Gulley, who presented the course option to the board, was happy to hear that the trustees supported it.

"It would be good to pass it now because we're scheduling classes (for 2009-10 school year)," he said.

The two-year cosmetology program would require a commitment on the part of the students, but they would reap the benefits in the end, Gulley noted.

"It would culminate in a state license," he said, adding that students would have to commit to some Saturday hours. In the working world, Saturday is one of the busiest days of the week for cosmetologists, he added.

Cost of the cosmetology course is "in excess of $4,500" but, like other vocational offerings, the state takes care of most of the cost, Gulley said.

"We get tuition reimbursement," he noted.

The board understood that the two-year program would be available to high school juniors and seniors, but board member Jennifer Goff wanted to know if next year's seniors could take advantage of it.

"They're eligible but they'd only get one year," Gulley said. "Then they'd have to take it next year on their own" at their expense.

The Huntington Beauty College is owned and operated by the Vogue School of Beauty Culture, which is based in Mishawaka. Vogue also offers classes in Michigan City and Elkhart.

The Huntington facility is located at 442 N. Jefferson St.