Career Center work goes on display

CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel—Emily Hewett, a floriculture student at the School District 51 Career Center, prepares a display for the annual open house scheduled for 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday. People will be able to buy flowers or wares of students in other programs such as construction or computer refurbishing. The Career Center is at 2935 North Ave.

Students in the 10 job-centered programs at District 51’s Career Center travel from their high schools five days a week to repair computers, slice wood to exact measurements, carefully stuff gift baskets or pick up other skills at the 2935 North Ave. building.

The results of their work will be on display and for sale between 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. Friday at the annual open house at the center. Visitors can purchase centerpieces, wreaths, gift baskets, trees or other items from the center’s Flower Shop; buy dog houses or benches from the construction department; snag a refurbished computer for $50 to $100; or peruse yard and garden equipment, pencil holders, zen gardens and pet toys and treats. Tickets for a drawing for two small, decorated Christmas trees are $1.

Kids can make a gingerbread house for $1 or get a free picture with Santa beginning at 4 p.m. The photos will be taken by instructor Michael Frick’s audio visual technology students, who will upload and email the photos to families after the open house.

“The students are going to do all the work,” Frick said. “It’s good for them.”

Julie Powell’s floriculture students in the Career Center’s flower shop have been preparing items for the open house for weeks. Powell started the open house six years ago to help Career Center students show off their talents to the community, but items are sold at other times of the year as well. Gifts students created in the Flower Shop currently are for sale at Western Rockies Federal Credit Union and people can pick up or special- order items from the shop throughout the school year.

Seventeen-year-old Emily Hewett, a Fruita Monument High School junior in her second year with the floriculture program, said she has learned how to recognize various types of flowers, tabulate invoices and handle phone calls to the shop in a professional manner. The two hours she spends in the Flower Shop each morning have inspired her to possibly pursue a career in floral arrangement and she’s excited to display the gift baskets and kissing balls she made for the open house.

“It’s nice to wake up and go, ‘I get to create today’ instead of going to school and sitting there like a zombie,” Hewett said.

Construction students Jacob Fitzpatrick, 16, a Fruita Monument sophomore, and Matt Rogers, 17, a Palisade High School senior, feel ready and excited to have their products for sale.

“I’ve been taught enough that I feel our work is good enough to sell. We’re using all the tools a professional would use and our instructors make us measure everything to one-sixteenth of an inch or we have to do it again,” Fitzpatrick said.

“It makes me feel good” to display his handiwork at the open house, Rogers said. “I’m excited it will be out there.”


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