HAWLEY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Hawley High School is going through some changes for the 2023-2024 school year. Shifting to bring more Career Technical Education (CTE) programs to the district, a school counselor said as the years have gone by, students realize they don’t need a four-year degree to be successful.

“Not every student is four-year college bound. We need people that are licensed professionals, we need people that have an associate degree, and a lot of people that go in that direction wind up making ones that go and get a four-year degree,” advised Tricia Spikes, Hawley High counselor.

Hawley High School had its 7-11th grade students fill out a survey, so that the school could better understand what career opportunities the students wanted. Among the top choices was cosmetology.

A cosmetology program will be implemented for this upcoming fall term, giving students the opportunity to graduate high school with a cosmetology license. So, upon graduation they can directly go into the workforce.

According to the latest local Indeed results, Abilene cosmetologists can earn around $35 per hour.

Principal Nikki Grisham said Hawley High School is proud to be a small school, but she wanted to stay competitive and offer the same CTE programs larger schools offer.

“We try to give the kids, even though it’s a small school – which is a good thing – we like being a small school. We want to have that offering,” shared Principal Grisham.

Thanks to funds set aside by Hawley ISD, and CTE funds from the state, Principal Grisham said the district will likely be able to dedicate a building to house the new program this summer.

As a high school counselor, Spikes told KTAB/KRBC she often meets with students to chat about career opportunities. Although it is still early in the process, she said many students have shown interest in the cosmetology program.

“The cosmetology program, because it is new and our students really don’t know much about it yet,” Spikes began. “The sparkle was there in a lot of them, and they asked questions wanting to know what it will mean for them.”

Spikes and Principal Grisham said it is still too early to share how and when to apply to the program, but they are visiting other cosmetology programs and conducting their own research to ensure that Hawley students will have everything they need to be successful in the cosmetology program.