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Jolie Teacher Spotlight: Cindy Pupko and Nicole Shealey

Cindy Pupko is a lead barber instructor and supervisor at Jolie Health and Beauty Academy in Hazleton. She leads the freshman, junior, and senior barbering programs, and supervises overall. Cindy graduated from the International Academy of Hair Design in Baltimore Maryland with a diploma in Barbering. She then worked for a shop for a year in Baltimore and applied for her Master’s License, which granted her the ability to manage a barbershop in Baltimore for 2 years.

When Cindy moved to PA, she worked in a barbershop for about a year before going back to school to get her cosmetology license. Cindy opened a business, which she still owns and operates, working along with Clairol and L’Oréal as an educator. In 2008, Cindy went back to school for her teacher’s license and went to work for Jolie Health and Beauty Academy, where she still works as the Lead Barber Instructor and Supervisor.

Nicole Shealey is a senior cosmetology instructor at Jolie Health and Beauty Academy in Turnersville.

“When I first because a cosmetologist, I knew at some point I would end up doing something else but wanted to always stay in the hair business. I actually became an instructor accidentally. When I had my own salon, my two daughters worked for me. I sent them to beauty school to get licensed, and told them to keep quiet about what they knew about hair so they could learn everything by the book. They did the opposite. Their instructors were so impressed at how good they could do hair and how knowledgeable they were that they said, ‘Tell your mom to come be a teacher.’ That’s how it happened!”

Nicole’s favorite demo to teach students is how to press and curl.

“Too many people think that students don’t know how to handle ‘my hair type’ as they would say,” Nicole explains. “I have to say that they are taught EVERYTHING! Once that client gives them a chance they often tell me at the end, ‘I love my hair. I want that [student] again.’ Every time I hear that it makes me proud that these students are leaving with knowledge and can work anywhere.”

What drives Nicole the most as an instructor is when she sees the “I got it” moment in a student.

“When they first come to school they are nervous, but after doing a client’s hair they begin to gain confidence and the nervousness slowly fades,” Nicole said. “When I see this it makes me extremely proud as an instructor. It makes me so proud to know that I’ve done by job correctly.”