Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Course Offers Students Designs on Career; Fleming High's Interior Design Services Program Holds Real-Life Experience

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Course Offers Students Designs on Career; Fleming High's Interior Design Services Program Holds Real-Life Experience

Article excerpt

Byline: MARY MARAGHY

After doing a TV-style Clean Sweep on an administrator's office, some Fleming Island High School students are attempting an "Extreme Makeover" on a dilapidated portable class- room.

They are part of the school's new Interior Design Services program, a first for Clay County public schools.

"I'm excited about it. It's a growing field. Students can go almost anywhere with it," said Annabelle Hamachek, an Orange Park home interior specialist, who hopes to be a guest speaker for the program. "Design is all over the board. People design clothing, shoes, cars, airplanes, landscaping, which is extremely important right now with gas prices. People won't be traveling but will be fixing up their own yards."

Students said reality TV shows, like Clean Sweep, Extreme Makeover, Divine Design, Design on a Dime and Designer Finals, have piqued their interest in the field.

Student Chrissy Mallory said she enrolled in the program because she enjoys those shows, especially Trading Spaces, where neighbors redecorate each others' homes. Chrissy said she has enjoyed learning about different styles of homes and decorating techniques that she hopes to use in her college dormitory and her own home someday.

Recently 42 students and 17 chaperones visited the $1.4 million designer showcase home of Southern Living Magazine in DeLand.

"It was like a dream home," said Chrissy, recalling a television that also served as a stereo and personal computer, a separate living room for children and jumbo Scrabble letters on a wall that spelled words like "Play" and "Fun."

"I loved the back yard. It was all brick with a fancy outdoor grill and a pool and hot tub down below," said senior Morgan Holesko, who admits her mother persuaded her to enroll in the program. But now Morgan said she's considering a design career. "I like that you have to be creative and think out of the box."

Child development teacher Teresa Cornett fought to implement the elective program, which includes four classes at three levels, Principal Sam Ward said. Cornett also convinced Ward to do a child development program, complete with computerized baby dolls for parent simulation exercises. …

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