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How Beauty Schools Change Lives in the 2015 Excellence in Education Program

Lauren Quick | November 4, 2015 | 2:31 PM

Every year, MODERN SALON Media pays tribute to great work being done by leading cosmetology schools via its Excellence in Education recognition program. Hundreds of applications are submitted by individual and multi-unit schools across the country, and for 2015, 38 schools were named honorees in eight categories ranging from Community Service to Placement to Technology.

MODERN SALON Media Vice President/Group Publisher Steve Reiss announced the 2015 Excellence in Education top honorees on Saturday, October 24, 2015, at the AACS Annual Convention & Expo in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Excellence in Education was created in conjunction with a partnership between Modern Salon Media and the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS); the program helps the school community collect and share examples of great work being done across the country.

Two top honorees—one individual school location, and a multi-location school organization—were recognized in each of the eight categories. 

In the Beauty Changes Lives category, beauty school educators, students and alumni are embracing the Beauty Changes Lives message and sharing the benefits of being in the beauty industry on social media platforms, in videos on YouTube and in special presentations during graduation ceremonies.

The top Beauty Changes Lives honorees this year were Paul Mitchell the School Esani in Roswell, GA, for individual locations; and Bellus Academy in Poway, CA, for multi-unit schools. However, all of the 2015 honorees had inspiring ideas to share.

From educators making visits to Capitol Hill to schools championing the Beauty Changes Lives message by participating in national hashtag campaigns, it's obvious that all professionals and future professionals are proud of the beauty industry. 


Students from Paul Mitchell the School Esani, top honoree for individual locations.

Here are just a few of the great ideas found in the 2015 Excellence in Education entries:

Beauty Changes Lives in individual locations

  • Sharing the message at Crave Beauty Academy, Ballwin, MO: The academy shares the Beauty Changes Lives message in YouTube videos featuring staff at their graduation ceremonies. They also have posters and banners with the message throughout the Academy.
  • Weekly speakers at State College of Beauty Culture, Wausau, WI: The College invites speakers every week to share their stories about all aspects of the beauty industry. 
  • National scholarships and events at Crave Beauty Academy, Wichita, KS: Students participate in national Beauty Changes Lives scholarship programs. Crave teams have attended Beauty Changes Lives events through AACS (owner Kim McIntosh serves on board of directors). 
  • Hashtag project at Avenue Five Institute, Austin, TX: The school recently participated in the international, industry-wide hashtag project, #IamAVisualArtist. This campaign petitions the Bank of England to add Vidal Sassoon’s name back onto the nominations list of those recognized as people of historic significance. It was removed by the bank, stating: “Hairdressing does not fall within the field of art.”
  • Beauty Changes Lives Day at Paul Mitchell the School Esani, Roswell, GA: The school’s new Beauty Changes Lives Inspiration Day is where each team member shares their life and success stories with students.
  • Special course at Clary Sage College, Tulsa, OK: In the school’s Career and Life Development class, students learn the leadership and life skills needed to give them the confidence to succeed in the beauty industry and life.
  • Testimonials at The Institute of Beauty and Wellness, Milwaukee, WI: The Institute continually reaches out for testimonials to incorporate in their marketing, advertising and PR efforts. The testimonials showcase the growth their students’ experience—both professionally and personally by going to beauty school. 


A Bellus Academy student earns scholarship money from a competition at America's Beauty Show 2015.Bellus encourages participation in many scholarships.

Beauty Changes Lives in multi-unit schools

  • Capitol Hill engagement at Paul Mitchell Schools, Sandy, UT: Owners and directors are working to help lawmakers understand how gainful employment regulations will have a negative effect on the beauty school industry and students. In July and September, they conducted fly-ins where they visited Senate and congressional representatives to educate about the impact this regulation will have on the beauty industry.
  • Horst Rechelbacher Memorial Scholarship at Nurtur Aveda Institutes, Columbus, OH: Awarded to one student at each Institute. Each participant must write an essay about how they envision the scholarship changing their life.
  • PR Coverage and fundraising at Bellus Academy, Poway, CA: The Bellus PR team shares student/graduate success stories through PR releases and has gained monthly coverage in industry publications. Everything is re-posted in social media and on website as well as included in the monthly newsletter. Plus, Bellus Academy President Lynelle Lynch serves as president of the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation and has been instrumental in raising more than $3 million.

To view the entire list of finalists, click here. 

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