WCCC News Article

2021 F.B. Walter Award Winner

Roberta Orebaugh, Ms. Staten

Cosmetology Senior Roberta “Bird” Orebaugh, Little Miami, received the 2021 Franklin B. Walter Award for the Warren County Career Center. In her application, she cited Cosmetology Instructor Levetra Staten as the teacher who most influenced her to succeed.

“I always liked doing hair, so I decided to apply for Cosmetology,” she said. “I have loved every second of my program and learned that it is a lot more than just working on hair. The field includes color, nails, facials, waxing, and so much more. After I earn my Cosmetology license, I will use it to work my way through college. My intended career path is to ultimately open my own animal shelter that places strays in forever homes. I have a passion for hair, and also for dogs. I currently work at a non-profit that trains service animals.”

She credits Ms. Staten with being a source of support who has shaped her to be the best she can be. “Ms. Staten found solutions for us during the Covid shutdown and supported and motivated us all to succeed,” she said. “She won’t stop pushing us and will do anything to make us succeed.”

Ms. Staten said she has enjoyed having Bird in her class. “Bird is an awesome student, and helps me with everything,” she said. “She is caring of all the students in her class, and all her peers, and I will miss her.”

Bird’s letter, in part, is below:

Ms. Staten,
Thank you for being the one to get me through not only high school, but through the cosmetology program. You have pushed me through many difficult days and encouraged me to take charge. Without you, I would not be anywhere near where I am today - physically and emotionally. Being in your class has not only helped me to pursue my dream career, but has also helped me develop into a more mature woman, who feels extremely more confident and independent than the first time she stepped into your classroom. As difficult as the COVID pandemic has been, throughout this time of remote learning and hybrid schedules, you have taught me how to take charge and to never give up on a goal. The many times that I expressed my doubt and uncertainty about finishing the Cosmetology program with enough hours to test at State Board, you always just told me, “If you really want it, you will find a way to get it.”

Recently, you showed me my lab hours, and to my shock, I only had a fraction of the hours I needed left to make up. This would not have been possible without your unceasing support and motivation. From the very first day of school in 2019, you told me and my classmates that you would not always say what we wanted to hear, but that you would always say what we needed to hear. Some days it was frustrating to hear what I was doing wrong or how a certain task could have been done better, but in the end, it has not only made me a better student, both in cosmetology and my academic classes, but also humbled me in a way I never imagined. So, thank you. Thank you for being the best teacher, mentor, and influencer I could ever ask for. Thank you for all the hard work, overtime, and sleepless nights you encounter because of me and your other students. No matter how stubborn, unmotivated, or doubtful I am, thank you for never letting me give up on my dreams.

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