When Janette Banks, 2003 Haywood Community College Cosmetology graduate, decided she wanted to teach, she was already a hard-working seasoned cosmetologist, wife, and mother to twin teenage girls. After teaching the first continuing education class, she fell in love with it.
Banks knew to be able to teach more classes, she had to get an associate degree. She began classes at HCC. “I had a lot of obstacles but I believed those obstacles were what I saw when I took my eyes off my goal,” she explains. “It was hard but with the help of an awesome group of instructors, I made it.”
While Banks was completing her degree, her daughters finished college with Bachelor’s degrees and also began teaching. She says both herself and her daughters always loved school and her older brother was a teacher. This played a huge part in all three becoming teachers.
For 14 years, Banks owned her own salon while teaching. But her first client came along when she was 13 years old. She would wake up early in the morning to do her mom’s hair before she went to work. “I knew then that I loved cosmetology. There was nothing else I wanted to do.”
In 2010, Banks became HCC Cosmetology Program Manager. “Taking this position was the next logical step in my career. I love the school and I wanted to help oversee the students’ advancement. I love watching the students grow from the first semester to the end. I love to teach them confidence. They need someone to believe in them and I believe.”
In addition, Banks knows first-hand what struggles her students face. Juggling family, work, school, and day-to-day life is challenging. “When I see a graduate become a success, I love knowing that in some small way, I had a hand in it. I love this industry. I love what I do. I love knowing students are coming up in this career field.”
For fun, Banks enjoys the movies, reading, and spending time with her two granddaughters.