My career as a floral designer began with Mother’s Day baskets with my 6th graders at Jackson junior High School. My mother, Jean Schommer, a designer in the Bay Area, would buy the flowers at the San Francisco Flower Market. Together, we taught 60-90 students each May, how to make a beautiful arrangements for more than 12 years.
In 2001, I began actually teaching floral design at Amador High School in Sutter Creek. I took Floral Design At Modesto Community College. Later I earned certification as a Certified California Florist. I built a popular program, which at its peak, included 3 floral classes, one of which was advanced. My students and I made bouquets, corsages and arrangements for Homecoming and for the Senior Nights for the sports teams, along with Proms and Graduation. At its peak we sold 90 Thanksgiving centerpieces one year. Custom Christmas wreaths were one of our specialties. Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day were also big sales events at the school. We also designed bouquets, corsages and centerpieces for weddings many school district employees. Local community organizations often hired us to make centerpieces for their events. Our earnings went back into the school program which paid for flowers for students to make and take home almost every week. Several of my students went on to get jobs in floral shops. Many of them come back now, to ask me to do flowers for their weddings. I have taught many adult floral classes also, and usually teach at Taste of the Arts.
My volunteer experience includes several years of floral arranging for St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Jackson. There I designed large vases, on site, a couple times a month, keeping in line with the liturgical colors.
Since 2010, I have been teaching Art, Art History, and Ceramics at Argonaut High School, in Jackson. I also serve on the board of directors for AmadorArts and have been the chairman of the Art By the Inch Collaborative Mural Project. As my 35 year teaching career comes to a close, I look forward to returning to my flowers and building my own freelance floral business.