Meigs High School Graduate Earns Cosmetology License in Spite of COVID-19 Pandemic Obstacles

Meigs High School Graduate Earns Cosmetology License in Spite of COVID-19 Obstacles

POMEROY, Ohio – In March, when schools were ordered by the Governor of Ohio to close, career and technical cosmetology students and instructors went into panic mode. The Ohio State Cosmetology and Barber Board at that time only permitted distance learning in the theory portion of their program and that was capped and left no alternative for the lab, or clinic hours needed. For a 1500-hour cosmetology program, a minimum of 750 hours must be earned while in lab, doing hands-on work on mannequins or live models. This is the area that is most critical for the bulk of the cosmetology students within Ohio. Interning within a salon was possible for 150 of those hours, until Governor Mike DeWine mandated all salons close, as well. 

With so many variables unknown, The Ohio State Cosmetology and Barber Board sprang into action to support these programs across the state. With an executive order signed April 6, 2020, cosmetology students could now log lab hours from the safety of their homes as long as they followed the guidelines set forth by the State Board and their school district. 

Upon hearing the framework with which she could attain her hours, Joey Ryder, Meigs High School cosmetology student dove into her distance learning. She worked tirelessly to document her progress and forward her assignments to her instructor, Denise Russo. She often worked for the maximum hours permitted daily and by April 30, she had completed her hours. Now all she had to do was wait. 

She then had to wait for the Ohio State Cosmetology and Barber Board to open up their scheduling and schedule her exam, and then wait for the date. That date was August 5, 2020. During all that wait time, she studied in between working. She anxiously arrived at the board office at 7:30 am to complete eleven lab assessments and a 100 question written test, an all-day venture. All of her hard work paid off, as she earned her cosmetology license and is now duly licensed to practice cosmetology anywhere within the state of Ohio.