Coffee County High School’s SkillsUSA chapter celebrated numerous regional achievements on Feb. 6, including first place finishes in artificial nails and crime scene investigation and a fourth place in job interviews. Those cosmetology winners will be moving on to the state competition in Chattanooga on April 1-3.

Senior Abigail Layne brought home the gold in regionals for her cosmetology skills and is excited to show off what she can do with artificial nails to the judges in April.

“It was great. I’ve always placed in my competitions as far as it goes for nails, it’s always exciting,” Layne said.

“I was in the nail care part of it,” she continued. “In it, I do two different types of artificial nails and then I do nail art. You can do whatever theme you want to with it. People typically do cartoons. I decided I would rather do something more personal – when you look in the mirror, what do you see? Each one of my colors in my nail design represents something different.”

Her nail design featured a woman’s face with hair made up of a rainbow of colors on her index and ring finger and a design reminiscent of shooting stars streaking across a multicolored sky on her middle finger.

Teacher Sandy Lewis is thrilled with the work her students have done this year. Lewis added that Layne has won numerous scholarships through her craft.

“I have so much pride in all of my students, especially the students that have competed in competitions this year. This has been one of the best years I have every experience in all of my teaching career,” Lewis said.

“It shows that with dedication and pride in your work that you can go to these competitions with what you already know, what you’ve learned in class and can win and already start in highs school working for your career,” Lewis continued.

While her teacher puts an emphasis on putting pride in their work, Layne explained she’s learned more than that through SkillsUSA. Time management and empathy are her largest takeaways.

“I remember last year, I competed in entrepreneurship and I was so stressed out. If it were not for everyone else there, I don’t think I could have done it,” Layne said.

With state just a couple of weeks away, Lewis offered some words of advice to CHS students who will be competing against 11 other winners from all of the state.

“I want my students to go with the same enthusiasm and pride that they’ve had this entire school year,” Lewis said. “I always tell my students you’re a winner in my book for going and participating. I would like to see them, win or lose, still keep that same pride and enthusiasm and continue on and further their future careers. It’s been an honor and a blessing for me.”

The blessing isn’t just felt by Lewis – Layne thanked her teacher for all she has down for her and said that without Lewis, Layne wouldn’t have been able to do everything that she’s done.

News Editor

Casey recently joined the Manchester Times team in March 2018. Coming off a 17-month reporter stint in Port Chester, NY, she is looking forward to slowing down and integrating herself into the community. She currently resides in Manchester.

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