Seattle
academy team

Courtney Verble

Academy Director

Describe the moment you knew your future was in the beauty industry:

I had always been inspired by the fashion industry and even thought about going to school for fashion design, interior design, or furniture design. I grew up in Prescott, Arizona, and did not have a lot of resources locally to pursue those interests. It was suggested to me to go to beauty school and learn a trade that incorporated fashion and was very hands-on, as all throughout my schooling I excelled in any type of hands-on learning.

Unfortunately, the beauty school experience I had was not a positive one due to the lack of salon-viable training I was given. The school did not prepare me for a career in a high-end salon. Their education was purely state board training for 1,600 hours. Even though I did well in beauty school, I was not sure if hairdressing was for me. When I got hired by TONI&GUY after beauty school, I was introduced to the real world of hairdressing and fell in love. Through my apprenticeship with TONI&GUY, I learned all the skills I needed to build a clientele and offer well-executed haircuts.

Becoming a hairdresser changed my life in such a positive way, and it's the only thing that I have ever truly felt I was the right fit for. I have been able to do so many exciting things in my career, and it has kept on going to this day.

Where did you go to school? When did you graduate?

I went to the College of Beauty Arts and Science and graduated in
January 2001.

For what skill(s), service(s) and technique(s) do you consider yourself an expert?

I specialized in haircutting in the salon and really enjoyed all aspects of cutting and styling. Working with male clients and introducing them to new haircuts and styles was one of my favorite things to do in the salon. I also did a lot of session work for photo shoots and runway shows, which was exciting and allowed me to think outside of the box.

I have been an Educator for TONI&GUY for 10 years. I was a Salon Manager, Art Team Member, and Regional Educational Director for the salon division as well.

What is the best industry- or technique-related advice you have ever been given?

Really learn to listen to your clients to make sure you are giving them exactly what they are looking for. Additionally, setting goals and participating in continuing education is imperative to being successful in this industry.

What is the best industry- or technique-related tip you can offer students?

Be open to making mistakes when learning how to cut/colour hair. Hairdressing is something that has to be done over and over to understand what works and what doesn't. Personal ego is your worst enemy in this industry.

What is your favorite part of working at TONI&GUY?

I love working for TONI&GUY because they are a forward-thinking company. They offer their own education in all areas of the hairdressing industry. 

What is your fondest memory of your time as a beauty school director?

It's exciting to see students start in our program and watch who they become by the time they graduate. The amount of growth and change they go through is so impressive to me. I am appreciative to have such an amazing beauty school team to work with.

Jeanine Ghighi

Cosmetology Instructor

Describe the moment you knew your future was in the beauty industry:

When I graduated from grade school, I had my hair styled by a stylist for the graduation ceremony. I watched her every move. Then a week later, I recreated the style on myself. I was pleasantly surprised with the result. I realized that if I could learn just by watching someone that maybe there would be a future in it for me.

Where did you go to school? When did you graduate?

Illinois Valley Community College Cosmetology Certificate and License (1976). Shoreline Community College Instructor Training and License (1991). Shoreline Community College AAAS Salon Business Management Degree (2005).

For what skill(s), service(s) and technique(s) do you consider yourself an expert?

If the definition of an expert is making every mistake possible and learning to fix them, then I would have to say haircutting and colouring are the areas that I've had the most experience.

What is the best industry- or technique-related advice you have ever been given?

The 80/20 rule: Your success as a stylist is 80% people skills and 20% technical skills.

What is the best industry- or technique-related tip you can offer students?

Leave your personal problems at home every day when you leave for the salon or beauty school. Your clients, whether the general public or students, deserve your full attention and professionalism.

What is(are) your go-to teaching style(s)?

I try to address the learner in as many ways possible and change my teaching style throughout my class. This way I can touch the visual, auditory, and/or kinesthetic learner. If all else fails, I find that a good sense of humor is helpful too!

What is your favorite part of instructing?

The students. I learn something new every day. Each student is unique, and no class is the same. It's what makes teaching both challenging and rewarding.

What is your fondest memory of your time as a beauty school student?

I am dating myself here, but it was when my instructor, Mark Hybkee, helped me cut my first wedge. It was the best haircut I had ever done at that time in my career, and I was so proud.

What is your fondest memory of your time as a beauty school instructor?

I can't think of just one thing, but I do know that every time a beauty school graduate comes to visit me just reaffirms how much I love my job. Hearing from students about where they're working and what they're doing makes me happy.

Joyce Spillum

Cosmetology Instructor

Describe the moment you knew your future was in the beauty industry:

I was in junior high school, and one of Vidal Sassoon's cuts was very popular. Pretty soon, I was cutting hair in the girl's room during lunch break. I absolutely loved changing the appearance of my friends.

Where did you go to school? When did you graduate?

I went to school at Renon's Beauty School in Seattle, WA. I graduated in 1973.

For what skill(s), service(s) and technique(s) do you consider yourself an expert?

I feel that I am very strong in cutting, color, and hair design. I have also been a very good nail technician, and because I pretty much permed my way through the 80s and the 90s, I am very good at perming also.

What is the best industry- or technique-related advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I was ever given was to always keep up on my education and constantly learn new techniques. This has also served as good advice for teaching methodologies too.

What is the best industry- or technique-related tip you can offer students?

The best industry tip truly is that so much of your success is not only in how good you make your customers look when they leave the salon but also in how wonderful the salon experience was for that customer.

What is(are) your go-to teaching style(s)?

I would have to say that I constantly change and flex my teaching styles in the classroom so that I am engaging and teaching ALL the learners.

What is your favorite part of instructing?

I feel rewarded each time I am instrumental in helping a student overcome an obstacle.

What is your fondest memory of your time as a beauty school student?

My fondest memories are those I spent preparing my model for the competitions that I entered.

What is your fondest memory of your time as a beauty school instructor?

My fondest memory is that of a particular student who entered school with three fingers missing on her right hand. She began school as a barbering student but quickly wanted to transfer into the cosmetology program. Wrapping her first perm was one of the most difficult tasks imaginable. Both of us cried before she was finished, but she never gave up. She opened a salon that is still very lucrative today.

James Harris

Instructor

Jess Hattenburg

Instructor

Jessica Kyle

Instructor

Arikka Godoy

Education Director