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academy team

Darlene Newell

Academy Director

I have been in the Cosmetology industry for over 30 years and have had an amazing career. I came to TONI&GUY in January 2015 as an Instructor. I immediately fell in love with the TONI&GUY foundation and culture. Currently, I am honored to serve as the Academy Director to the TONI&GUY faculty and students in providing a higher education in hairdressing.

Brandon Blackmer

Director of Education

My cosmetology career started in 1989 at Northwest Institute of Advanced Hair Design under the leadership of Lee Matz and Valentine Goosev. After Graduating from the cosmetology program I decided to further my education by entering the teacher program at Northwest where I continued on as an assistant teacher until 1991. During this time I went to work for Valentine Goosev in his studio “Valentine for Hair” where I worked from 1990-1994.

After working for Valentine for several years I moved to a new location, “Hairdesigners II” in which I worked from 1995 until the end of 1996.

In 1995, Mario Sevelli opened TONI&GUY Hairdressing Academy in Erie, Pennsylvania. I began my career with Mario and TONI&GUY in October of 1995 and have continued to work for TONI&GUY over the last two decades. I have filled many positions within the Academy including Instructor, Director of Education, and even Academy Director.  

Melissa Hughes

Senior Clinic Instructor

Versatility has always been my main goal as a hairdresser. I live by it, making opportunites unlimited. I enjoy sharing my passion for the hairdressing industry and aiding students in finding their individuality and creative inspirations as hairdressers. Education is key. A firm educational background sets the foundation for success in the beauty industry. As a  TONI&GUY graduate, I can truly say that I received the best education, and with that, it has ignited a fire in me that allows for growth and consistent learning that I wish to share with our students. I am a firm believer that hard work pays off. If you want to be the best, you have to DO your best and take pride in the product you put out. Setting a great example is very important to me as a person, as well as an instructor. After 15 years with Toni & Guy, I believe that there is no other school that compares educationally and I am proud to say that I am a part of such an amazing and trend setting company.

Davonalee Hamp


I graduated from the TONI&GUY cosmetology program in 2008 and immediately enrolled into the cosmetology teacher’s program and graduated in 2009. It is my passion to make people feel just as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside. My job is not just any job. This is my passion and lifestyle and I am rewarded with teaching my students and taking care of my clientele.

Emily Rodriguez


I graduated from TONI&GUY in 2002. I immediately began my career with my salon home 10 years ago at “McHenry & Company”. I absolutely love being behind the chair and making my clients feel amazing!  

A year ago, I made the decision to pursue my teaching career and came back to school. Being a student again at TONI&GUY renewed my passion for this industry and sparked a desire to share my knowledge with students. Upon graduating a second time with my teacher’s license, I began working as an instructor full time while still maintaining my clientele at the salon. I am thrilled to get to do what I love both ways and share my passion with TONI&GUY students every day! 

Heather Smith

Admissions Representative

Originally from Canada,  in 1995, I graduated from the University of Guelph with a B.A. Sc in Family and Social Relations.  I started working in the Admissions Department of TONI&GUY Hairdressing Academy in April of 2000. 

I love the unique culture of TONI&GUY and all that it has to offer to their students! I find it incredibly exciting and rewarding to help TONI&GUY students fulfill their dreams of becoming cosmetologists. Every day I am proud to come to work and help new students make a decision about their future career in the beauty industry. 

Melissa Carpenter

Student Services, Employment Specialist, Instructor

Andrew Dick

Financial Aid Advisor

Kayshla Stewart