Addison Trail’s Horticulture Class partners with several local flower shops every year to put together a two-hour long show displaying arrangements made by both students enrolled in the class and professionals alike.
Traditionally, the program has been run by science teacher Andrea Grossart. However, this year, it was taken over by her substitute teacher, John Carver.
Carver is a recent graduate of Illinois State University. He received his degree in Biological Sciences with Endorsement Education and a minor in Chemistry.
Carver has a blazing passion for anything biology-related, with entomology being his primary focus. Carver had just completed his student teaching only one semester ago, and a few short months later, he found himself in a position teaching a hands-on, interactive horticulture class and having oversight of an entire flower show, alongside teaching biology honors.
“I appreciate the challenge and how I had to figure out most of what I am doing on my own,” said Carver. “Overall it was a huge learning experience.”
From the outside looking in, one would not expect how many steps it takes in order to put together a flower show.
“I felt like I was being thrown into the trenches at first,” said Carver.
Behind the scenes, a lot of planning and phone calls have to happen in order to find florists, flowers, possible donations, etc.
“Networking a lot was probably the biggest personal takeaway I had from this experience,” said Carver.
On the students’ side, however, designing and making their themes come alive through their arrangements was surely their favorite component of the event.
For horticulture student Jessica Burback, the flower show was a great opportunity for her to express the creative side of herself.
“I learned that it takes a lot of creativity to come up with a nice floral arrangement and theme,” said Burback.
This was Burback’s second year participating in the show, and she enjoyed it just as much as she did the year prior.
“My favorite part about the flower show was making my arrangement, I was inspired by spring and how I want spring break to come faster.”
Other students, such as Julian Lara, walked into the show with very little knowledge about how it would go, but in the end, found it to be a nostalgic experience.
“It brought me back to my youth because my mother used to work in a flower shop,” said Lara.
In the end, while many may be clueless as to what the flower show is, and only will ever hear about it from announcements and posters plastered around the school, it is an event that has taken place for 48 years now.
Some guests this year noted that it was their very first time attending, while others proudly said that they have been coming for over 35 years. Spending only a few minutes at the show can make anyone realize that it is an event many people find solace going to annually. It provides a little niche for students, florists, and attendees to celebrate creativity and art, and that notion in and of itself is why so many people find a strong sense of community here at Addison Trail.