NWSCC students win gold and bronze at National SkillsUSA in Louisville, Ky.

MUSCLE SHOALS, ALA. — Proving to be some of the best in the nation, Northwest Shoals Community College (NWSCC) students were awarded medalist honors in Esthetics and Nail Care at the 2019 SkillsUSA National Competition in Louisville, Ky.

Rainey Johnson, of Moulton, Ala., won the gold medal (1st place in the nation) in the Esthetics at the national competition. She became the first national gold medalist out of the Salon and Spa Management Program in the College’s history. Julie Stegall, of Florence, Ala., won the bronze medal (3rd place in the nation) in Nail Care.

According to NWSCC President Dr. Glenda Colagross, NWSCC Salon and Spa students not only made history at the 2019 national SkillsUSA competition but are making a name for the college nationally. “I could not be more proud of our Salon and Spa and Carpentry students,” said Colagross. “They are raising the bar every year. A few years ago our Carpentry and Cabinetmaking program had two national medalists, and now our Salon and Spa program has two. I truly believe we have the best students and instructors in the nation.”

NWSCC Salon and Spa Management instructor, MeLinda Grissom, had the opportunity to teach the two salon and spa medalists and knows how difficult it is to accomplish a gold and bronze on the national level. “I have been teaching cosmetology over 20 years, and this is the first time I have had the privilege of training a gold medalist,” stated Grissom. “The group of students we took to nationals are truly special. This year, six of our seven Salon and Spa students placed nationally in the top 10.”

Rainey Johnson is the first Salon and Spa Management student to win the national gold medal in Northwest-Shoals history. “It is an honor and a privilege to have won the first gold medal for the Northwest-Shoals Salon and Spa program,” said Johnson. “I honestly wouldn’t have got here without the support and guidance of my instructors. I am truly blessed to be representing Northwest-Shoals.”

Other than Johnson and Stegall, NWSCC had five other students place in the top 10 at the 2019 National SkillsUSA competition: Becca Belue, of Rogersville, (10th in Cosmetology); Magan Stewart, of Anderson, (8th in Customer Service); Kesha Davis, of Courtland, (10th in Job Skill Demonstration Open); Porshe Paris, of Florence, (6th in Job Skill Demonstration A); Grady LeCroy, of Florence, (7th in Carpentry) NWSCC SkillsUSA sponsors are MeLinda Grissom, Callie Bankston, Brittney Doran, Titus Grisham, and Jessie White.

The 2019 SkillsUSA National Championships placed approximately 6,500 outstanding career and technical education students against each other in elite hands-on competition in 103 different skill and leadership fields.

About Northwest Shoals Community College:

Northwest Shoals Community College (NWSCC) is part of the Alabama Community College System and home to more than 3,500 students. NWSCC offers over 100 certificate and degree programs and is committed to providing career technical, academic, and lifelong educational opportunities that promote economic growth and enrich the quality of life for the people it serves. For more information about the NWSCC, visit www.nwscc.edu.