Crockett Schools Complete Cosmetology Center

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT –  The Messenger was privileged to have a sneak peek at the new cosmetology center, soon to be officially unveiled at Crockett Independent School District (CISD) in the administration building. The program is a continuation of the district’s CTE (career and technical education programs, giving students real-world training in good paying careers they may pursue, immediately upon graduation. 

As this reporter took a quick picture of the entry sign into the new area, CISD Superintendent John Emerich quipped, “You won’t need a picture of that, what is inside is much more interesting.”

How true this statement turned out to be. The new cosmetology center has its own entrance and parking area, which will allow local customers to come and have procedures done at a reduced price, while the students are still learning their new trades. 

As you enter the center, it feels as though you have come into a clean and modern beauty salon more appropriate for a chic business in Houston’s Heights than nestled in the CISD admin building. Quiet and isolated, the center will offer both students and clients a respite from day-to-day life as they enjoy hair services, along with manicures, pedicures and other treatments, too. 

The entryway looks like any high-class salon, complete with wood-grained reception area, a place to sell products and waiting area. As you come inside the center, you realize this has been well thought out and planned – the equipment is state-of-the-art, with multiple hair-cutting stations to wash and dry hair.  This is a place for everything from a simple trim to serious makeovers. 

The facility includes special equipment which vacuums up the cut hair, keeping the facility clean and hygienic. Moving over to the nail stations, each of the manicure stations is professional-quality, with an intake to keep that nail-salon odor out of the nostrils, as it’s sucked into the system through the manicure station itself. 

The customer seating is wide and comfortable and yes, the pedicure chairs give a little massage as you pamper those toenails. 

Paid to write what is seen and said, this reporter, for once – was quite speechless. For a young person interested in entering any of the cosmetology fields, training at such a facility would surely cost thousands of dollars and force them to go far from Crockett to receive quality training such as this. 

“The normal cost would be somewhere around $5,000.” Emerich noted. “The full course would be 1,500 hours, but the state allows high school students to receive their certification after 1,000 hours.”

There is a classroom attached to the facility, too, where the students begin the process before coming close to bangs or fingernails. In all, the program will be for juniors, who will complete the program in two years, eligible for their certificate once they have completed the 1,000 hours and reached the age of 18. 

The teacher in charge of the program comes from private sector cosmetology experience and can help the kids with the certification process, but also work with them to understand getting a job in the industry or even starting their own business. 

The Messenger has reported extensively of both the need for economic development in our area and for career training for students who do not want or need to go through a four-year college experience. Many students find themselves finishing college with a degree, thousands of dollars in debt and still looking for a job which pays the bills. 

From heating and air training, forklift certification, sheet metal working and now the cosmetology department – CISD lags behind no one in offering students alternatives that offer them careers in the real world, and one hopes, a path to someday start their own business. 22 students a year can fit in the program, meaning each year the district can send 22 young people into the world with a job they can do just about anywhere in the world, including Houston County. 

The students, at no cost to themselves, can receive their certificates, locals will have a cheaper option for hair and nail services – it seems like a win-win for all involved. 

Except, perhaps, the taxpayer. How much does it cost to repurpose the unused area, build out a professional cosmetology school and equip it with state-of-the-art equipment?

“Including the renovations at the ag building, it was a $3.5 million project,” Emerich said. “And we didn’t pass a bond or ask taxpayers to pay an extra dollar towards the project.”

Even in deep East Texas and with a sluggish economy, the skills now being taught at our local schools are giving students a chance to hone talents and receive certification in careers which are timeless and can be performed anywhere, at anytime. 

Emerich is excited to show off the new facility and get the first students enrolled, working on the project for the better part of a year, from planning to each stage of construction – it took blood, sweat and tears to get this done, and it shows in the remarkable detail and well-thought-out design. 

The open house for the ag building will be Thursday, Feb. 22 from 4:30-6 p.m. There will be an open house for the cosmetology scheduled in the near future once the finishing touches are in place. 

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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