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Flower Power - Floral Design Class Draws Students In
The largest class to take Floral Design as part of the agricultural curriculum at Escalon High School has been busy making holiday arrangements and is also taking orders for corsages and boutonnieres for the upcoming Winter Formal.

"I have been teaching the class for four years," said Stacy Ingalls. "This year, finally, they can get UC Fine Arts credits, college credits, for taking the course."

The college credit has piqued the interest of students and the numbers of the class have grown accordingly.

"It's close to 80 students and it's only two periods," Ingalls pointed out.

Most are Floral I students, just getting started, though there are close to a dozen and a half Floral II students and three in the most advanced, Floral III, class.

"Four of the students are also on the Floral Design team," Ingalls said of spilling over into the FFA organization.

Design team members are Jacquelyn Withrow, Stephanie Moore, Arissa Chunn and Jessica Koller.

"This is another avenue to bring diversity to our agriculture department," Ingalls said. "And students in this class also get to see the other FFA opportunities."

The majority of those taking the class are girls, with a couple of boys mixed in. Ingalls said there are a variety of career opportunities in the field and students are getting great experience. They offer a 'subscription' arrangement plan, with periodic arrangements provided through the program.

"We have about 20 people from the staff and the community that subscribe," Ingalls explained.

On a recent day, class members were putting the finishing touches on Thanksgiving centerpieces they were going to take home to their families for the holiday.

"You get to be creative," said senior Kenzie Hogan, taking a picture of her just-completed arrangement with her cell phone. "You can show off your talent. I'm giving this (centerpiece) to my dad 'cause he loves them."

Fellow senior Hailey Metzler said she took the class because she "wanted to learn something new" and thought it would be fun.

"And my mom likes to see all the flowers," she said.

Ingalls said the class covers a variety of topics, from floral identification to basic techniques for design, including wire and taping.

"We cover tools, materials, flowers, foliage, they start with simple designs and work their way up," she explained.

Ingalls added that several students have continued on to college pursuing coursework in floral design.

The students also help out in the community, often providing decorations and centerpieces for dinners, award banquets and ceremonies.

For more information or to learn how to get a subscription for student-produced floral projects, contact Ingalls at Escalon High School, 838-7073.