Students in the floral design class at Sulphur Springs High School, not only learn valuable job skills, but find new creative outlets in the plant science class as well.
“I think floral design brings out people’s creativity. Like, you have some students that don’t speak much; they’re not outgoing. But, you give them an assignment to make an arrangement or something and they can be really creative and you’d never know. But now you do,” junior Kerie Wright said of the floral design class.
“It’s really creative,” senior Kailea Gardner agreed. “It’s definitely using your mind if you know you have a creative side.”
“Even if you really don’t like drawing and doing all that type of stuff I would really recommend taking this class. It’s not just drawing, it’s building things and going out to the city and helping people,” junior Selena Sanchez said.
“It’s fun to do too. If you just got out of a different class and you’re all stressed out, this really relieves that stress, because you get to just take your time and use your mind and make what you want to do,” Gardner said.
“It’s not just for girls. Guys do it too. We have a lot of athletes that do floral design and they really enjoy it,” Wright said.
The course is designed for students interested in careers in floral design, agriculture communications, farm management, financial planning or a landscape design. Other students also enroll in floral design to obtain an art credit, and and end up learning much more than they anticipated.
“Personally, I thought it was going to just be like ‘oh, the mum’ and that’s it,” Sanchez said.
“That’s what people usually talk about, making the homecoming mums or little design things. But, we’ve done a lot more,” Gardner said.
“Floral design gives us a lot of opportunities to have hands-on experience, like coloring, building things, especially flowers, projects and stuff like that,” Sanchez said.
Plant basics is are also part of the class. Wright said she was surprised by how little she actually knew about plants.
“I thought they were all somehow similar, but they are very different,” Wright said.
Students did learn to arrange flowers, including the importance of knowing about certain bacteria. They also learn the business side of it, skills they tested at an area competition against students from other schools such as Como-Pickton.
The floral design students will have another chance to test their skills at an upcoming contest. Competition, however, is more than arranging flowers. Competitors are tested on their knowledge plants and their background, then advance to arrangement. Those opportunities can sometimes pay off in scholarships, Sanchez noted.
The floral design class is one of the career and technology courses students take as part of the plant science endorsement track.
Freshmen can take principles of agriculture, and food and natural resources. As sophomores, they can take the floral design class or can use it to fill a fine arts credit. Students on the plant science program then as juniors can take either horticulture science or advanced floral design. Seniors then have the option of applying for a practicum in agriculture, food and natural resources or advance plant and soil science (the latter also can be taken as a science credit).
Students who complete the course work satisfactorily have the opportunity to test for industry certifications: Texas State Floral Association Floral Design Certification Level I and II.
“We would be certified in arranging things. So, if we wanted to earn money in college we could work a floral job,” Wright said.
“There’s another one coming up that we’re going to do, so if we wanted to do a business it would help us with that,” said Gardner.
Sanchez is not interested in going into the field, but thinks “it’s a really good thing to learn, just have your certification, especially us getting out of high school.”
“For me personally, I didn’t think I would like it. I took the class because I needed an art credit, but I really enjoy it. I feel like if I needed something to do, I would do this on the side because it brought out my creativity. I fell like if anybody else would take this, they would enjoy it,” Wright said.
** KSST Radio is helping SSHS celebrate Career and Technical Education Month by featuring interviews with students highlighting a few of the programs offered at school. Check out KSSTRadio.com and our YouTube Channel for more CTE features.