Pink, white, and yellow blossoms covered the Beyer High School classroom as the fragrant flowers' scent filled the air.
“We use a lot of carnations and baby’s breath,” said senior Kyah Lituri.
The students in Ms. Beatty’s Advanced Floral Design class were hard at work this week creating spring-inspired centerpieces for the Stanislaus County Annual School Board's Dinner.
“I like these specific arrangements because they have different pops of color, and you’re angling things in a different way to make them fuller so I like how small, but full they are,” said senior Mia Henson.
The class is part of Modesto City Schools’ Career Technical Education (CTE) program with pathways and courses just like it at every high school in the district.
“All of these students are working on getting their certifications, said teacher Susan Beatty. “It gives them a leg up so that if they apply to a floral shop they know they’ve had other training.
As part of the program, the students learn everything from the history of floral design to using the color wheel, and various types of flowers and greenery to build beautiful bouquets, construct captivating corsages, and create balanced, lush, and visually appealing arrangements for a variety of occasions.
“We’ve done graduation parties, retirement parties, bridal parties, all sorts of different things, and she (Ms. Beatty) actually helped me with flowers for my mom’s wedding.”
The students are learning skills that result in lifting spirits.
“Giving someone flowers is just a small gesture that can make someone’s day better,” said Hensen.
The students' floral arrangements also make each event that much more special.
“We did a retirement party at the beginning of the year that was baseball themed so we got to be super crafty and she (Ms. Beatty) brought in mason jars that we made look like baseballs,” added Lituri.
The experiences help students build confidence and even score a job right out of high school.
“Oh my gosh, I love teaching floral!” said Beatty who shared that this is her 15th year teaching the course. “I run into quite a few students out that say they are working at a floral shop now so that’s always cool for me to see is that they use what they learned in class.”
The next time you attend a school event, make sure to stop and smell the roses,
and know the floral arrangements were likely designed by students.