Guest Services

Paul Mitchell The School In Costa Mesa

Meet some of the Learning Leaders and team members who make Paul Mitchell The School Costa Mesa so special.

Erik Pedersen


I began as Director of the school following a successful career as owner/operator of Erik Pedersen Graphic Design with some 25 years of vast experience doing brand and marketing consulting with companies such as Ford, General Motors, Dunn Edwards Paints, John Paul Mitchell Systems, Corona Tools and Weiser Lock.

As Director of Paul Mitchell the School Fresno, my experience in business management and marketing serve to not only direct the school in its successful operations but also lend essential mentoring to the Future Professionals as they build their business acumen. As a non-hairdresser, I am so drawn to this industry and what cosmetologists are able to do for other people’s well-being, both inside and out.

As an experienced commercial photographer, I also conduct photo shoots with Future Professionals providing them with valuable on-set experience while helping to grow their portfolios. I love to see the pride, in their eyes, when they see their finished photos.

Ashley Sarmiento

Clinic Classroom Leader

I’ve always enjoyed the beauty of styling and have always done hair for my family and friends. I just new it was going to be a lifetime love for me. I have been a licensed hairdresser, now, since 2012 and I love that this industry gives you the ability to make people feel and look beautiful. It is such an awesome feeling. My role in school allows me to support our Future Professionals and our learning leaders, inspiring them to go above and beyond in there customer service skills and helping the flow of the whole clinic classroom. My specialties are energetic customer service, making the most of all learning opportunities and inspiring Future Professionals to truly connect with each guest. This is what really creates lifelong bonds with guests.

Amani Albertsen

Protege Specialist

I had a traumatic hair experience which made my scalp split, rendering me completely bald until healed. The person who did my hair was not licensed. That is what inspired me to want to educate others in this industry. To want to help to create responsible, highly proficient beauty professionals. My favorite thing about this industry is that we have the ability to affect people not only emotionally, but physically. The transformation from the start to the finish of the service, is what makes this worth while. Also being able to do so many things as a licensed beauty professional. I strive, everyday, to instill confidence to the Future Professional. Their journey in Protege has to build their confidence in themselves, and in their choice to be here. Bringing them that opportunity is the most fulfilling feeling in the world.

Criselda Pompa

Theory Specialist, Final Phase Leader, Texture Specialist

I have always had love for making others feel and look great by doing their hair and makeup. I grew up in a poor household, I couldn’t always afford to do my nails or hair. My desire is to give others the opportunity to learn this craft and better their opportunities. I volunteer with the American Cancer Society's "Look Good, Feel Better" program and it has been such an amazing experience. To be able to help a cancer patient feel "normal" by putting on some brows and makeup means the world! Us hair stylists constantly see guests coming in with their heads down and leaving feeling amazing, because of the art that we do. I graduated in 2013 and received my license shortly after. I enjoy bringing inspiration, integrity, trustworthiness, ambition and support to my Future Professionals.

Anthony Menchaca

Night Makeup Specialist

I was in a career with very little creative outlet. While looking for a new hairstyle I came across a YouTube video which inspired me to jump into cosmetology. I’ve always loved that being a hair stylist allows you the ability to change someone's outward appearance to match their inner beauty. So I started school, to be a hair stylist, in June of 2015. To think that I can expose Future Professionals to new opportunities by challenging them is reach deeper. I like encouraging them to stretch themselves creatively through Design Team events and to be comfortable with their craft. They should always allow themselves to enjoy creating new looks through both hair and makeup.

Stephanie Christie

Night Phase Two Leader

I started cosmetology school in my mid twenties. I’ve always known this was something I would really, truly love. I now have over 7 years experience as a stylist. I’ve alway had a desire to be a mentor at Paul Mitchell the School Fresno and finally gat the chance to start here as the Night Core Specialist.

I want to let everyone who comes to this school know that all of their dreams, in this industry, are very much possible. If you work hard, dedicate yourself to growing and are open to enjoying the whole journey, it will all be returned to you with great guests, limitless opportunities and a lifelong career of creativity!

Amanda Watrous

Night School Protege Learning Leader

I came back to my lifetime love, the beauty industry, after a career detour. I am a Paul Mitchell the School Fresno alumnus who graduated, on the Dean’s List, In 2015! I love the freedom I enjoy in this industry. You can really blaze your own path, and that really appeals to me. Hopefully I bring joy and encouragement but also real life experience and knowledge. I strive to be someone who can relate to each future professional and help them reach their goals.

Sarah Bowman

Cut and Color Specialist

I'm a second generation stylist. I love how this industry touches so many people, and branches out into many other opportunities. The industry is always evolving and pushes us to keep learning and mastering our skill set. I'm currently the school’s cutting and color specialist and love every aspect of my job! I feel I bring new and creative ways to learn information as well as retain it. I also push myself constantly to continue mastering my skill which brings a level of understanding and honesty to all Future Professionals on their journey. I'm also certified to train our staff in Color and Cutting right here in the school. So all our team members have a much faster road to becoming the best Learning Leaders possible!

Joaquin Navarro

Future Professional Advisor

This industry has always had my attention. I've seen many things in my life and push myself to grow from each and everything I experience. I see beautiful creativity everywhere! My favorite thing about this industry is, like me, it changes. Every time you look around, it's something different. Whether it's color or cutting techniques or the fashion industry in general, it's going to keep on changing. I strive to bring all my personal and professional experience to help Future Professionals through challenges and push them to celebrate all their victories. I truly love my job and always try to reflect positive energy.

Alifia Young

Education Leader

I’ve always had a passion for teaching. My philosophy is “you can’t own it until you give it away”. I think this has guided me through a pretty well rounded career in the beauty industry. Since obtaining by cosmetology license in 1999, I have become a successful stylist and educator. I’ve worked with major product distributors and as a platform artist for many national cosmetic and hair care lines, including MAC, Stila, and Paul Mitchell. My main focus, as Education Leader, is to inspire Learning Leaders to think out of their comfort zone and reach their true potential as mentors and trusted advisors to Future Professionals.

  • 1
  • 2
  • Request Information

    Preferred Method of Contact
    I agree to be contacted by a school admissions team member. Message and data rates apply.
    Follow Our School
    Our Blog

    Request Information

    Preferred Method of Contact
    I agree to be contacted by a school admissions team member. Message and data rates apply.

    Request A Tour

    Interested in touring our campus? Please complete the form below.
    I agree to be contacted by a Paul Mitchell School admissions team member. Message and data rates apply.

    Find a School