From the Archives – Horticulture Students Place Greenery in School
Did you know Mentor High used to have a Horticulture program? Read about it here in this Mentor High Log article from December 11, 1975!
October 19, 2022
Please enjoy this archived article from the old Mentor High School Log, one of the earlier incarnations of the Mentor High School student newspaper. Special thanks to Mr. Sanelli for finding these in an old bureau taken from the old Mentor High School Library during its renovation into the Hub. Also thanks to Mrs. Ford and the GenYes team for scanning and sharing the original article. – Mr. Couch, Cardinal Nation Advisor
MHS is getting a newer, greener look due to industrious students in horticulture classes. Decorative plants have new homes throughout the school.
There are Boston ferns, a Benjamin fig and a Norfolk Island pine tree in the Learning Center. Rubber plants and bird nest ferns adorn the unit offices. The principal’s office, the administration building and the bookroom are also being decorated. Plants are for sale in the SPO and the horticulture building.
Karl Hagedorn of Mentor High’s horticulture department expressed some of his reasons for decorating the school. “We want to let the school know what’s here,” he emphasized. To Mr. Hagedorn, the school building and the horticulture building are more separated then they need to be. Mr. Hagedorn, however, gives all credit for the idea to decorate the school to his students.
Senior Dave Bogdon is president of the group of horticulture students who came up with the constant display idea. According to Dave, the department had little or no exposure, but he says, “We won’t be in the dark for long.’ People in most of the areas where the plants are take care of them. Maintenance is coordinated with the horticulture students about once a week.
Plants were selected for their hardiness, as well as their decorative appearance. A hardy plant is easy to care for and is adaptable. Special care is given to some, such as the Boston ferns in the Learning Center. These must be misted about twice daily because the air is so dry. The rubber plants in the Unit Offices must be kept very dry; they can go for long periods of time without water.
The horticulture group also has a junior class president for the reason that the juniors and seniors don’t see each other too often. Paul McConacha, president of horticulture’s junior class, says that the group gets together often “to coordinate our ideas.” They meet to discuss their ideas for the display. Paul likes seeing green in the school and thinks MHS students enjoy it also.
Poinsettias, Christmas peppers, and hanging baskets are currently for sale in the Student Personnel Office. Says Dave Bogdon, “Last year, our poinsettias were pretty bad. This year the crop is excellent.”
In the window of the SPO is the main display. Students are now in the process of dividing it (one side facing the hall, the other facing the SPO) and surrounding it with bamboo. All plants in the window are labeled and priced.
Profit from sales of plants go toward cuttings, soil, and pots. According to Dave, “The display program is for experience as much as profit.” Horticulture is making a profit this year, as more teachers are buying plants. A new achievement must also be noted: students are also buying plants.
Horticulture is “developing a good reputation,’ according to Dave. The displays are advertising the program well and students expect Mentor High to stay green for some time.
Advisor’s Note: The “MHS Learning Center” is what Mentor High School now calls “The Hub.” As for Mr. Hagedorn, he taught in the Mentor Schools for 24 years. Mr. Couch remembers once doing a “photo shoot” to publicize the Horticulture Department. Mr. Couch was a Mentor Theatre student picked to “model” for the project. It was a mind-numbing day of taking posed “action” shots holding plants, and Mr. Couch remembers Mr. Hagedorn being rather salty about the fact that he wasn’t getting a chance to talk plants but was just photographed five million times with this theatre kid he didn’t know just holding plants in silly poses 🙂 Mr. Hagedorn was eminently proud of his program, and it is a shame that – like the city of Mentor’s long-lost rose-growing industry – the Horticulture program is long-gone. The Horticulture Building is now the home of our “Succeed” program, located in the A-wing south parking lot. Mr. Hagedorn passed away on September 18, 2022. His memorial service is on Friday, October 21.