High school cosmetology program launches student futures in industry

Written by Kim Nix. Posted in Latest LCCA News

Lanier Charter Career Academy runs Reflections Spa and Salon

By Kristen Oliver

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 10.19.35 AMA mason jar full of fresh lavender sits near neatly stacked bags of handmade potpourri on the check-in counter at Reflections Salon and Spa.

The full-service salon, which serves the public from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Friday, is located inside Lanier Charter Career Academy in Gainesville, and it’s been the birthplace of a number of careers in cosmetology

“I would say a little more than 50 percent of our students (go into cosmetology),” said Janice Laster, cosmetology instructor at Lanier Charter. “A lot of them want to do it for their career, and a lot of them want to have their license as a backup plan. And then some students know they want to pursue another degree, but they do cosmetology while in school to pay for their education.”

Laster said shScreen Shot 2015-09-02 at 10.19.50 AMe encourages her students to go to college and get an advanced degree, and she also encourages them to get their cosmetology license.

Laster was recently awarded the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education’s Carl Perkins Outstanding Service Award for her work as a trade educator in the state. 

Her class not only teaches cosmetology skills, including full-service hair, nails and facials, but she teaches skills all future workers will need.

“We’re working on the Georgia Best Certificate,” she said. “That’s recognized across the state from the Department of Labor, and it’s an initiative to help train students in employability skills.”

The salon is fully student-run. Appointments can be booked by calling the school, and customers are greeted upon arrival by students and rung up when leaving by students. Hair, skin and nail services are performed by the upper-level cosmetology students with 250 hours of training.Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 10.18.40 AM

Johnson High School student Mallory James said the class focuses heavily on customer service.

“We do a lot of training on it,” she said. “Our biggest thing is probably customer service, and it’s really unique because a lot of teenagers don’t follow through with that or get that experience.”

Fellow Johnson student Lauren Hicks, 16, said the class is great experience for her, as she plans to go into cosmetology.

“I want to go to Paul Mitchell,” Hicks said of the cosmetology school in Atlanta. “I want to go into makeup and eventually start my own company.”Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 10.19.15 AM

James said she plans to follow her mother’s career path, but the cosmetology classes are good experience for her to do so.

“I probably won’t get my license, but this follows my career path,” James said. “My mom is a national sales director for Mary Kay, and I see myself eventually as a national sales director too.”

Chestatee High School student Katie Jones, 17, is a paid intern at Reflections through a Goodwill program. The program gives her an opportunity to get real-work experience in the industry.

“I’m graduating this year, and next fall I’m hoping to apply to either Lanier Tech or Aveda Salon,” she said. “This is what I want to do.”

Jeff Jenkins, assistant principal at Lanier Charter Career Academy, said the career education courses at the school are a good opportunity for any student.

“We’re the only school in the county that offers cosmetology, and this program is teaming up with the horticulture program, which is a kind of unique thing,” he said. “I think a lot of people don’t think of those two programs being related to each other necessarily, but the teachers and students have shown it’s really been beneficial to our campus.”

Laster said the cosmetology students use plants and herbs grown by horticulture students to make essential oils, soaps and potpourri.

Jenkins said such programs give students a chance to “get their hands dirty,” whether taking cosmetology, horticulture or culinary courses.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 10.20.06 AM“Really, in the last few years, we’ve put a premium on preparing all students for a career,” he said. “In past years, I think the emphasis may have been more on a high school diploma, and while that’s certainly very important for all of our students, we also realize that students are going to have to work for a living one of these days.”

“We want to prepare them not only academically, but for a vocation later on,” he added.

Laster said her program is about giving students an “experience of entrepreneurship.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 10.18.59 AM

“I see myself with my own salon,” said Gloria Castillo, 17, who is dual-enrolled in a Lanier Technical College cosmetology course and involved in the Goodwill program through Lanier Charter. “I love working with hair, nails, makeup, all of it, but I really want to be my own boss and help others find jobs. I’m an independent person, and I believe we should have more independent people making their own money. That’s what I want.”

Linking Industry to Education

Written by Kim Nix. Posted in Latest LCCA News, Success Stories

Partnership helps local students find career direction

12 complete Linking Industry to Education program
Frank Reddy  August 6, 2015

Twelve students received certificates in fields like welding, forklift operation, career development and OSHA training. Seated, L-R: Tyler Simmons, Tyler Pinson, Ryan Howington, Alex Ford, Miguel Avelar, Michael McCullers, Jose Casas-Durante, Wynston Sugarman. Standing, L-R: Kyle Reed, Uriel Wences, Austin Bivens, David Nunez

A partnership between two educational entities and a nonprofit organization has local leaders excited at how it’s benefiting high school students involved in the program.

Known as LITE (Linking Industry to Education), the pilot program this year recently graduated its first class, recognizing 12 students for receiving industry-recognized certificates in fields like welding, forklift operation, career development and OSHA training.

Kim Guy, a workforce development coach with Lanier Charter Career Academy, said the program has a “career-driven vision…that many of the students in this generation need.”

Hall County School Superintendent Will Schofield said LITE is “one of the most exciting things I’ve been able to witness in my decades in education.”

Student welders practice during their training in the Linking Industry to Education program. The program helps high school students for the world of work through technical training.

“This summer, we took a group of over-aged students that had not had their needs met by a traditional education, and we asked ‘if we could provide you with high-quality training for in-demand jobs, would you be interested?’”

Added Schofield: “They’ve proven that they’re absolutely interested.”

The program sought to equip high school students for the world of work through technical training in an industry-recognized program. Welding and joining technology was identified as the program of choice based on employer demand in the area and the skill-set of the students selected.

A large number of the students involved in the program have already found jobs, said Lanier Technical College President Ray Perren. Six of the 12 students are now working at Kubota, while the other six are continuing their education and training in other capacities.

Student forklift driver Tyler Simmon practices moves to a loading dock as part of the Linking Industry to Education program.

“This program has helped me learn a skill that takes a lifetime to master, it got me a job with Kubota and all the equipment I needed. If I had to choose my favorite part of this program I would have to say that it would be just getting the hands on training that is required to be a welder in today’s business world,” said student Tyler Pinson.

Goodwill of North Georgia was also involved to help provide training for the students.

“It’s amazing to see how far these students progress in just a few short weeks,” Perren said. “At Lanier Tech, we’re here to train people, and here were 12 students who may not have been successful in the high school setting, and we gave them the opportunity to succeed in something they like.”

Added Perren: “And, that feels good for everybody involved.”


Work-Based Learning

Written by Heather Loveless. Posted in WBL

Students you will access many of your files from the following website. Please familiarize yourself with the content.

Click HERE to access the WBL Webpage for Hall County.

Thank you.

Mrs. H. Loveless, Business Instructor, WBL Coordinator

Earth Day 2015 Celebration

Written by Heather Loveless. Posted in Latest LCCA News

Earth Day 2015 Celebration
The Science classes partnered with the child care to teach the children about Earth day and help them plant flowers.  The Science classes also partnered with the Horticulture classes to plant flower gardens around the school. See pics below.

Earth Day 1 Earth Day 2 Earth Day 3 Earth Day 4

LCCA Adds a Farmer’s Market

Written by Kim Guy. Posted in Uncategorized

 Lanier Career Academy adding the Farmer’s Market Orchard

Gainesville Times comments on the future addition of the Farmer’s Market Orchard.

Click here to read more.

Physical Science and Cosmetology Classes Collaborating with Cross-Curricular Teaching

Mrs. Nix’s Cosmetology class and Mrs. Goss’ Physical Science classes working together on a Chemistry Lab.  The Physical Science students proctored the lab and helped the cosmetology students at each station and asked them questions when they finished. What a great experience learning from your peers! See below…Students in action.


LCCA Student Dress for Success

Written by Kim Guy. Posted in Latest LCCA News

November 20, 2014

For More Information:

Kim Guy, Workforce Development Coordinator, Lanier Charter Career Academy

Elaine Armstrong, Director of Public Relations, Goodwill

Mock Job Interviews for LCCA Students

Lanier Charter Career Academy’s students in cosmetology and DRIVE (Developing Resources and Invaluable Experiences) came dressed for success this week to participate in mock job interviews, hoping to land a spring internship in one of the student-based enterprises on campus, or secure an internship or job in the local community. Both DRIVE and the school’s career education programs focus on employability skills to ensure that students are not only equipped with specific career skills, but have also developed exceptional soft skills. Fifty-two students were interviewed by a team of five staff from Youth Employment Services, one of several training programs operated by Goodwill of North Georgia.

Alejandro Zuniga, DRIVE student at LCCA, stated, “The mock interviews gave us a realistic view of how the interviewing process works.” The DRIVE program helps the students develop confidence, accountability, and leadership as they work through the details of the curriculum. Ms. Donielle Boop, Case Manager for Goodwill of North Georgia, shared, “The majority of the students came prepared and took the experience seriously. They were punctual and polite, and received positive feedback from most of their interviews. I believe this experience will better prepare them for the world of work.”

DRIVE is the backbone of the school’s Workforce Development Academy. Students enrolled in DRIVE self-assess and investigate interests, abilities, and future plans for the students’ best options for college and career success. The DRIVE curriculum helps to develop skills in teambuilding, leadership, professionalism, communication, and other areas critical to success in the workforce.

For more information about LCCA’s Workforce Development Academy, please contact Kim Guy at kim.guy@hallco.org, or call 770-531-2330.


School Based Enterprises Receive National Certification

Written by Kim Guy. Posted in Latest LCCA News

Gainesville Times / Posted February 9, 2015
Three high school enterprises receive national certification

The Oaks at Lanier Charter Career Academy and Flowery Branch High School both have new feathers to put in their caps.

Lanier Charter Career Academy recently received DECA Gold-Level Certification for Get Gifted and Design 360, two school-based enterprises. Flowery Branch also received gold-level certification for its Corner Café.

Lanier Charter Career Academy student interns Gabrielle Smith and Melanie Zuluaga worked on the certification manuals with their advisers Joni Cochran and Mary Warren.

Flowery Branch students Kimberly Nguyen and Makenna Murphy completed their manual with the help of adviser Carol Summer.

They will all be recognized at a conference in Orlando, Fla., at the end of April, where they will also be competing in the SBE Academy Competition for additional awards.

Kristen Oliver covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her:



Microsoft Office Specialist Certificate Earned

Written by luis.urrego. Posted in Success Stories

LCCA is honored to say that on Friday, Anthony Williams passed his MOS Certification test in Microsoft Word 2013. This certificate is known world-wide and holding a MOS certification can earn an entry-level business employee as much as $16,000 more in annual salary than non-certified peers.

I cannot express how proud I am of Anthony! Anthony is the first LCCA student to have passed this exam! Way to go Anthony!!!!



Mrs. Loveless, Mr. Jenkins (AP), Anthony Williams, Dr. Blakley


Anthony Williams


Mrs. Loveless, Anthony Williams



More Certifications!!!!

Congratulations goes out to Tristan Spiva, Anthony Williams, Esequiel Hernandez and Riley Sumner. All of these young students have earned MOS Certifications!!!!

Anthony Williams has earned his Word 2013 and PowerPoint 2013 certifications.

Riley Sumner has earned his Word 2013 certification.

Esequiel Hernandez has earned his Word 2013 certification.

Tristan Spiva has earned his Word 2013, Excel 2013 and PowerPoint 2013 certifications.

All the students are striving to excel at passing their next certification. I am proud to say that I am their teacher.

Mrs. Loveless, Business