Sonja has more than thirty-five years of experience in the beauty industry. She has owned and operated a full service salon for over thirty years. She was a product manager for a major manufacturer for eight years, a technical educator for ten years and a sales manager in a nine state territory for eight years. She has been able to showcase her wide experience and in-depth knowledge in every façade of the industry.
Sonja has had extensive training and has studied at Gerrard's in San Francisco, Annie Smith Academy in Toronto, Canada and she graduated from Redkin 5th Avenue in New York. During her eight years of travel for the industry, Sonja taught in salon clinics, demonstrated as a platform artist, instructed PK Knowledge courses and taught hair color classes for four major manufacturers.
Heather started chasing her dream in 2006 when she entered the beauty industry. After obtaining her cosmetology license, she decided to continue her education in the esthetics department, gaining as much work experience and education to build her knowledge and strength as a stylist. She is passionate about hair and she loves teaching others. She has taught both cosmetology and esthetics. She enjoys learning the newest trends and mastering new techniques. She had the opportunity to spend three years in South Carolina working at a salon that ranks in the Top 100 salons in the United States. She had continued education classes and product knowledge on several different color and product lines. She always try to improve her skills.
She holds a cosmetology license in four states and her educator's license in two states. She also holds an esthetician license as well. She is ready to make teaching her full time career. She looks forward to preparing students to become successful designers and love what they do. That way they will never have to really work a day in their lives.
Jodi is one of our Illinois licensed cosmetology instructors with broad experience in both real-world application and student training. Jodi earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Greenville College and has been a hair stylist for 37 years. She is the salon owner of The Hair Co. in Vandalia, Illinois where she has an extensive clientele. Well-travelled with wide-ranging education, Jodi has advanced color training from Los Angeles, California, as well as extensive barber class discipline in Salt Lake City, Utah. Additionally, Jodi has taken retail management courses in St. Paul, Minnesota, salon management classes in Chicago, Illinois, and esthetics courses in St. Louis, Missouri. Just recently, she attended classes at the Scruples test salon for in-depth training in color.
Ms. Wanda Brooks provides administrative support for the Effingham Academy of Cosmetology staff and students. Wanda has worked in the public educational field for over 38 years before her retirement three years ago, Ms. Brooks did her undergraduate education at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois and then taught special education for twelve years. While teaching, Wanda continued her education and completed masters’ degrees in Elementary Education, Administration and Superintendence. Ms. Brooks started her administrative career in Effingham, Illinois as the Special Programs Director and her last six years as the Principal of Edgewood, Grade School, Edgewood, Illinois.
Ms. Wanda Brooks was born and lives in Shelbyville, Illinois. Her life travels to living in places like Honolulu, Hawaii; Carlinville, Illinois, and finally back to her roots in Shelbyville, Illinois. She has one son, Sean and five wonderful grandchildren ranging from ages eight through fifteen years. Wanda’s most memorable life experiences are her family; grandparents, mother and father. She was raised on a large farm outside of Shelbyville with five other siblings. Her father, Lane, was a political figure in Shelbyville, a three-time purple heart soldier from WWI who brought home a GI bride from London, England. Her mother, Vera, who at age 12 was shipped out of London due to the pending bombing threats from Germany’s approaching troops. All children were sent out London so they were not killed.
Two very different young people, fell in love, had six children…. the rest is history. All six children were raised in rural America, Christian background – Father Methodist, Mother Episcopalian (no church in rural American so we went to Methodist). Paternal Grandfather – one of the first school teachers in Illinois. His ancestors founded Stewardson, Illinois. First Sheep Herders in Illinois. He married an Illinois Indian – “Goldie” was her white man nickname. Ms. Wanda Brooks and her siblings had a diverse upbringing. Wanda’s family traveled to 49 out of 50 states as a family of eight, when camping was very primitive. Having parents who were very active in community and government agencies. Lane and the “Stewardson Clan” going from one soup supper to a state fair politicking every four years. Vera, who became a naturalized citizen, ended up becoming the Democratic Committee Woman for Illinois. Both Vera and Lane attended President Kennedy’s inauguration and took the troop to Washington that summer to meet the presidential family and congress members. Who else had such learning opportunities???
Ms. Wanda is a well-rounded individual who loves people and loves working at EAOC. She travels with Isabella (Bella) her Therapy Dog. They both help whomever on whatever needs to be completed. No task is too difficult, except maybe cutting hair!