Holland earns state teacher honor

Holland earns state teacher honor
Posted on 02/03/2020
Holland earns state teacher honor

Rebecca Jan Holland likes nothing more than to talk about her Nacogdoches High School cosmetology students, such as the 23 (the most ever) she’ll be carrying next month to a regional Skills USA competition.

Last week, Holland got to spend a little of her own time in the spotlight after she was named the Outstanding Technology and Industrial Teacher of the Year by the Texas Industrial Vocational Association.

TIVA includes hundreds of educators in career and technical education programs in Texas, and Holland was selected as the top teacher from that group. (TIVA has recently merged with a larger, national organization, the Association for Career & Technical Education.)

“Jan is outstanding. We are very fortunate to have her be a part of our team,” said Don Hasley, Director of Career & Technology at NHS. “Her program is one of the best, and it’s right here in Nacogdoches.”

The cosmetology program is one of 18 offered in the Nacogdoches High School career and technical department.

“I never thought I’d be this involved,” said Holland, who serves on the board of TIVA and other CTE-related organizations that support programs such as cosmetology. Over the course of the past few years, her leadership in regional and statewide programs has grown. Holland represents District 7 on TIVA’s Board of Directors, and she is the new president in Texas for Cosmetology for Public Schools.

CIPS oversees the SkillsUSA contests where many of Holland’s cosmetology students advance to regional and state competitions. She’s also helping launch the newly-formed Allied Beauty & Barber Association, which will keep an eye on state legislation that could adversely affect in-school programs.

“Teachers like Mrs. Holland help set Nacogdoches High School apart,” said NHS principal Dr. Rom Crespo. “She makes such a wonderful contribution to our culture here. We’re extremely proud of this recognition.”

Holland is fiercely proud of the organizations she works with, particularly TIVA, which provided vital assistance when she was just starting out in public education. After owning and operating her own salon 25 years in Douglass, Holland came on board at Nacogdoches High School in January 2012. Upon starting at NHS, Holland was told a TIVA conference was just a couple weeks away and that she needed to attend. And, a week later, came a SkillsUSA contest for cosmetology students. She had students advance to state that year… and every year since.

“If it hadn’t been for TIVA, I don’t know what I would’ve done,” she said. “Like any agency, they have people to help you and guide you.”

Holland’s seniors are now preparing to take their state written exam in the next month and then the state practical exam in the weeks to follow. She has high expectations for each one and intends for all to walk across the stage at graduation with a Texas Cosmetology State license.  Many of the students are preparing to go to college for business degrees to help them be able to successfully operate a salon one day or manage their own cosmetology career.

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