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Shayne Smith and Megan Smith, owner of the Smith Academy of Salon Professionals in Huntington, pose for a photo outside of the Country Roads Development, LLC, building in West Logan, where she plans to open a branch of her beauty school in September.

WEST LOGAN — A licensed cosmetology school based in Huntington will begin offering instruction in the Logan area later this year.

The Smith Academy of Salon Professionals, a licensed beauty school that opened in Huntington in March 2020, is tentatively set to open a branch of their school at the Country Roads Development, LLC, building at West Logan on Sept. 1. Country Roads is the old Mathis Motel/Mountain Trail Inn at West Logan that is being remodeled by its owner, David Gore.

Logan native Chelcee Pennington is the virtual instructor for Smith Academy. The Academy’s owner, Megan Smith, credits Pennington as one reason the school has decided to expand into the Logan area.

“We have one of our instructors from Logan, and she informed us that there is a need there for a cosmetology school, so we looked into opening one there,” Smith said.

In June, Pennington is opening her own salon, Studio Maletti, in the Country Roads building. It will be located next door to Smith Academy’s space. Smith said students have iPads in their kits and will receive about half of their instruction virtually from Pennington.

After they receive the hours required from that portion, that’s when they will come in-person to West Logan. That portion of instruction will be known as “practical guest services,” where students perform services on guests under the supervision of a licensed instructor.

“Chelcee doesn’t ever see the student,” Smith said. “She talks to them through their virtual course online, and the students get to do that part of the course from home, and then they come in person and their instructor in-person, her name is Sherry Ramey, she’s from Crum. She’s going to teach students in person on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.”

Pennington said Smith Academy students can shadow to gain a certain number of hours, which are required as part of the licensing process.

“They’ll go, and they’ll learn everything over in their salon,” Pennington said, “but there’s a certain amount of floor hours that are required in other salons just to see how it works — see how to learn how to communicate with people, learn how to mix color, work the front desk, stuff like that. It’ll just be like a representative of Smith Academy of Salon Professionals, like it’ll be a ‘schooling salon,’ something like that.”

Smith refers to Pennington’s Studio Maletti as a SASPRO Shadow Salon, which means it is not a legal component or representation of the school, but students can schedule times to come in, observe and perform services. Smith said the school has about five to six salons that are designated as SASPRO.

Smith is a licensed cosmetologist from one of the Paul Mitchell beauty schools in Tennessee. She has been licensed for nearly 10 years.

Pennington has also been licensed for nearly 10 years and previously operated a salon at the Fountain Place Mall. Now that she’s getting back into the business in a building that’s close to home, she hopes it will be another shot in the arm for continued growth in Logan County.

“We’re just wanting to put some life back into Logan County and do some good things,” Pennington said. “My family, they still live up Crooked Creek, and it’s just a really special area to me, and I’m excited. I want to bring a very welcoming environment, come-as-you-are type of deal.”

To enroll with the Smith Academy of Salon Professionals, visit https://smithacademyofsalonprofessionals.com. An e-course begins Tuesday, June 1. The space at Country Roads is expected to be finished by Sept. 1 for in-person instruction and services.

Smith Academy books appointments — including hair, nails and skin services — on their website at a discounted rate from typical prices.

HD Media news reporter Dylan Vidovich can be contacted via email at dvidovich@HDMediaLLC.com.

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