Welcome to Lorraine Kennedy!

When you have relatives who are skilled at a certain profession, it sometimes sparks your own interest in following a similar path at an early age. This was the case of River Bend Career and Technical Center’s newest instructor, Lorraine Kennedy, who now teaches the Cosmetology Program at the Center!

As a very young girl, she would be fascinated to sit in the two home salons run by her two aunts (one was her dad’s side of the family and one was her mom’s side of the family). She remembers being able to “French Braid” by age six, and each of her Barbie or American Girl dolls had totally unique hair styles and make-up designs! After high school, her family moved to Chelsea, Vermont, to a new place to call “home,” and Lorraine started a traditional college education focused on running her own business.

Lorraine soon discovered that many of the post-secondary cosmetology schools spend considerable time teaching the business skills she was seeking, as well as helping a person to become licensed in the field; which was why she switched to the program at New England School of Hair Design in Lebanon, New Hampshire. While attending her program at the New England School, she also went to work at ‘Supercuts’ as a receptionist. This part-time position proved to be a great connection for Lorraine, as Supercuts welcomed her to their salon after becoming licensed.

The Supercuts franchise allowed Lorraine to grow and progress in the field, by having her complete their “Hair School Academy” when she started working in the salon. Working her way to the level of a stylist, she soon worked into the role of shop “opener and closer”; and later becoming a “shift supervisor”.

At this point, Lorraine transferred to a Supercuts salon in South Burlington, and became a certified technical trainer, teaching Supercut’s technique; and Supercut’s coloring technique in the Paul Mitchell Color. It was during this experience that she fell in love with the idea of teaching others, finding it very rewarding to see others grow and learn.

After a period of time, she and her husband decided to start a family and Lorraine shifted to the role of a mom. She began working as a nanny (something she did in high school), and substitute teaching at local schools. She primarily in the field of early childhood education with the Orange County Parent Child Center. She then became a permanent substitute teacher at Spaulding High School in Barre, Vermont; all while working part-time and helping at the Supercuts in the Berlin Mall. The position at Spaulding High School helped prepare her for the next role, as a Youth Employment Specialist at VABIR, a non-profit organization that is associated with Vocational Rehabilitation in the state of Vermont. This program helps provide job training for high school age students in the community. Again, this experience has allowed her to see others grow and learn, as well as become an important part of the economic system in Vermont!

It was while Lorraine was in the role of job training coordinator that she saw that River Bend’s Cosmetology program was advertising for an instructor because of the retirement of the much loved Patti Eaton at the end of the last school year. She applied and the fit has been wonderful! Both Lorraine and Patti were able to work together at the end of the school year to coordinate the transition to the new program; and Patti is still available for support and guidance as Lorraine brings a new vision to the program! One of the areas that is changing is the transferring process from a textbook for the class to a nationally recognized on-line learning lab, where students’ hours are tracked and recorded directly for certification. This same method is used in the post-secondary institutions in cosmetology and makes the student work more transferable. The majority of the curriculum that Patti Eaton had refined and developed over the years as a “hands-on” curriculum will remain the same, as the program covers so much of the field. Patti and Lorraine are now working with the State and River Bend to develop a possible program for students after graduation that could be part of River Bend’s Adult Education program.

Lorraine is loving her work as the school year starts out! Her students are wonderful, and the smaller number that attend “in person” at any one time is giving her ample opportunity to get to know each student. Outside of school, Lorraine is always busy, as she loves cooking, being with her husband and son in Chelsea, hunting, fishing, and cruising in their “family four-wheeler” on the back-woods trails! Growing up in the shadows of Foxborough Stadium in her younger years, Lorraine is also an avid Patriots and Red Sox fan.

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Lorraine Kennedy as the newest member of the River Bend Career and Technical Center Family!

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