Tooele High School’s advanced floriculture students earned more than a good grade on their last assignment of entering a floral arrangement in the Utah State Fair. They earned a fair number of blue ribbons, and a sweep of the fair’s three floral arranging competitions.
Of the 18 THS students who entered the floral competitions’ junior categories for ages 13-18, six brought home a blue ribbon and seven more garnered a second-place red ribbon. Taking Best in Show in the junior categories of the three separate contests were sophomore Austin Remick, junior Alicia Faudree and junior Kaitlyn Gowans.
In these competitions, exhibitors were asked to make an arrangement based on one of three movie themes: “High School Musical,” “Grease” or “WALL•E.” Instead of being given step-by-step instructions as is usual for students taking floriculture classes at Tooele High, the arrangements entered in the show were designed and created by the students alone. While the quality of the arrangement was important, the object of this show was creativity — something this batch of artistic teens seem to excel at, according to advanced floriculture instructor Bob Gowans.
“They got very creative — anywhere to making their own vases,” Gowans said. “They seemed to do well with these themes. There were a lot of unique things.”
All three of the Best in Show winners had an original aspect to their floral arrangement. Remick, who won the “High School Musical” category, made his vase out of a basketball. Faudree, who won the “Grease” category, decorated her arrangement with records, and Kaitlyn Gowans made a vase for her “WALL•E” category winning entry out of empty soda cans.
Though Gowans said his class has entered and won various awards in the fair for the past several years, he felt this was one of their best years. “In my opinion, and there could be variable reasons why, the arrangements as a whole were much better this year,” he said.
Gowans was impressed by the overall quality and creativity of all the entries in this year’s show, but he said it was the kind of thing he expected from students who were taking an advanced course in floriculture.
“I expect that when you get into an advanced class,” Gowans said, “They should stretch their limits and try new things.”
Class expectation or not, improvement is always a good thing. Especially when it means bringing home all the prizes.