Our Town Snyder: Greenhouse growing plants, job skills for HS students

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 7:10 AM CDT
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SNYDER, Texas (KJTV) - Snyder ISD is preparing students for life after high school as they work and learn in a greenhouse.

While high school greenhouses often provide a different exterior for onlookers across the country, Snyder ISD’s state-of-the-art facility also puts great focus on career growth.

“It’s a retail greenhouse that is completely student-run. It gives them great work experience, as far as how to manage customer service. How to manage the operations of a facility like this,” said Valerie Morris, public information officer for Snyder ISD.

While the greenhouse work is part of the core curriculum for ag students, they are also learning other skills at the same time.

“All the students taking Principles of Ag are doing an internship for course credit, where they’re really getting work-based skills where they’re really getting a ‘hands-on’. Things like resumes, and cover letters, and community service and customer service and things like that,” said McKenna Jenkins, greenhouse director.

Some students have even blossomed with their academic and social skills.

“When I came into this program, I was really shy. I didn’t want to talk to customers or anything like that,” said senior Katie Delora. “Now, I don’t have any troubles talking to customers or checking people out, even giving presentations to different groups of people. I used to have a really hard time with people like that, and now I don’t struggle with it at all.”

Amilee Thomas agrees.

“My favorite part about the greenhouse is honestly just not being stuck on my computer. I like being hands-on with the plants and stuff like that. The environment here is just really positive. It’s just really fun. It’s just fun to be here,” she said.

The greenhouse is not exclusive to the high school. Schools in the area come by for classic field trips as well.

“They develop all the curriculum for the tours,” Morris says. “They take the students around. They play fun games, but in the meantime, they’re also working on a relevant lesson that those students might ordinarily learn in a classroom. But, they actually get to get out under the classroom. It’s actually a living lab, but they get to experience it first hand.”

Katie has already committed to life of plant study, long after her days in the greenhouse.

“I’m planning to go into conservation, so I feel like the plant ID and learning how to grow plants, and learning different things about the plants- like too much water, not enough water. How much sun certain plant needs, that’s going to help me in that kind of aspect,” she said.

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