It’s homecoming season and in the floral design classes at the Killeen ISD Career Center, that means ribbons, silk flowers and lots of accessories.

The tradition of homecoming mums presents a perfect floral design project that is a tradition in the classes Sarah Crawford has taught for many years.

In the classroom at the Career Center, which draws students from all four KISD high schools, part-finished mums hang with completed ones with each side of the classroom displaying each school’s colors.

There are about 100 floral design students in four classes at the Career Center and all of them make a mum, some for themselves and some for friends.

Three practicum students, in their second year in the program, do extra work, teaching their younger peers the art and dressing up some of the finished products during their dual class periods.

The students also market their handmade mums in the school’s cafeteria, taking orders for their work. They charge $20 for a garter mum, $30 for a medium-sized one and $50 for the largest variety. Proceeds go to a campus activity account.

Senior Sarah Hervert, one of the practicum students, said she enjoys the work, though it gets frantic at times.

Last week, with Ellison High School’s homecoming two days away, students worked diligently on the green-and-white variety with black accents.

The experienced high school student became a teacher, instructing other students in the meticulous work of making sure the decorations stay balanced.

“It’s hard to make sure it’s all even,” Hervert said. “When you pick it up, everything moves. You also have to make sure the colors are balanced. None of these are the same.”

She pointed out a fancy mum with braided ribbon, praising the students’ work just as a teacher would. “Someone learned to do braids,” she said. “Some like to go beyond.”

It takes time to learn the creative process. The second-year student has earned one floral design certification and expects to earn a second before she graduates in the spring.

While she doesn’t expect to pursue floral design as a career, she sees it as a good way to earn extra money.

“It’s a way to motivate students to participate in school activities,” said senior Amber McCallister, another practicum student. “Anyone can do it, but it does take time to learn.”

“I like the reaction we receive,” she said, explaining that she wants to be a teacher and enjoys instructing her peers. “They realize the potential they have creatively.”

“Mums are fun,” Hervert said. “It’s a beginning point, a good starting point to teach balance.” Later, students will begin working with fresh flowers.

“This is a big project with silks,” Crawford said, pointing out that the class uses mainly fresh flowers, including a large Christmas project with round arrangements.

“All art and design requires balance,” the teacher said. “You need to focus on color and equal weight and evenly disperse the accessories.”

Homecoming season continued with Shoemaker High School Friday night, Harker Heights High School next week and Killeen High School Oct. 27.

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