All the seniors in the Linden High School cosmetology class passed the state exam to get their licenses. From left are Shanya Becton, Brianna Pihulic, teacher Maria Fabre, Brianna Thomas, Ciera Feliciano and Ny’lah Dent. 


By Gary Miller

Seniors in the Linden High School cosmetology class scored a perfect five for five in passing the state exam to be licensed. This is the second straight year that everyone in the class passed the exam, following the class of 2017’s seven graduates.

“It was a small group this year, but all five of them passed both theory and practical, so it is a great accomplishment for the girls,” said Maria Fabre, the class’s teacher, who is in her 13th year at LHS.

The students in the three-year program traveled to Passaic County Technical Institute on Saturday, May 19, to take the hands-on test after having previously passed a written exam.

Superintendent Danny A. Robertozzi said the five seniors deserve praise for reaching their goal.

“These students have kept their eye on the prize for three years, and now it has paid off,” he said. “As with all our vocational programs, we want to prepare our students to thrive in the workplace. These young women are a perfect example of how that can happen with the right tools and great determination.”

Fabre said class results can vary year to year, depending on the students’ commitment.

“If they’re willing to work together, they’re all on the same page, working for the same goal,” she said, “we usually do very well.”

Students are just waiting to get their diplomas, which they submit along with their test results to become licensed in the state of New Jersey to perform hairstyling and cosmetology.

“Now they can go to college if they want, but they can always find a part-time job in the field,” Fabre said. “They can always work and make their own hours. It’s an extra feather in their cap. It’s a great accomplishment.”

Possibly the biggest hurdle the students must clear is attaining the 1,000 hours of instructional time they need to be eligible to take the exam.

“So if they have a lot of absences or suspensions, that’s a factor,” Fabre said. “Some students don’t make it because of that.

“But I always say to them when they graduate, ‘You just made $17,000,’ because that’s what it would cost for them to go out today and do the program at a private school.

“It’s really a great program.”