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My Background


     My name is Cole and I have been a teacher all my adult life. I started teaching cosmetology at age 19. I have been licensed in Cosmetology, Esthetics and Nail Technology since 2002. I studied at Gene Juarez Academy and, after graduation, moved directly into their Instructor Training Program. After teaching at Gene Juarez Academy for a year I moved on to working behind the chair.  From 2004-2015 I worked for Northwest Hair Academy and held such positions as Instructor, Director, Instructor Trainer, and Curriculum Leader. Most currently I worked for Paroba College from 2015-2021 as Education lead.  

Working in the Beauty Industry

     My time working in the beauty industry has been invaluable to my growth as a teacher. I was fortunate enough to attend many trainings by companies such as Paul Mitchell, Pivot Point, Milady and Success Signals. Learning how to teach in a vocational environment has made me a creative educator. The student body I have encountered in the vocational setting has been extremely diverse and has included many students with learning differences and learning disability diagnoses. This helped build my passion for teaching in a learner-centered environment. At least seven of the twenty years I have been teaching included teaching and over-seeing instructor training programs. 

Going Back to School

     When one of the school I was working for went out of business, I decided to go back to school with the goal of teaching at a community college. I had become passionate about teaching students who didn't think they could learn. I decided on psychology as a focus because of my interest in memory, cognition and learning.

Surprise...You are Autistic

     In the process of acquiring my degree I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This diagnosis has helped me understand myself much better as well as many of my students. Looking back, I think that being autistic has been very beneficial for me as a teacher. I credit my autism for my ability to break things down into bite size pieces for my students. It has also been beneficial in relating to students who are atypical.

More recently...

     In 2021 I left the beauty industry to focus on completing my degree. I have continued to teach quilting and sewing classes at my local quilt shop.

     In 2023 I completed my Master's of Science in Psychology and will soon be starting a Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.

Cole Whitaker



University of Louisiana at Monroe

 Master of Science in Psychology

GPA 4.0


Central Washington University

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Graduated Cum Laude 

Dean’s List 


Everett Community College

Direct Transfer Associate Degree

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