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LESSONS OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM SAN FERNANDO VALLEY FAIR LETS STUDENTS SHOW WHAT THEY'VE LEARNED IN NONTRADITIONAL SETTINGS.

Byline: MARK KELLAM Valley News Writer

Not every lesson is learned in the classroom. Some are learned in pig pens, greenhouses or metal shops.

Area students will be showcasing what they've learned in agriculture, horticulture and metals engineering classes when they compete at the San Fernando Valley Fair June 8-11 at Hansen Dam Sports Center, located at Foothill Boulevard and Osborne Street in Lake View Terrace.

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, the fair attracts students from several Valley high schools.

At Canoga Park High School, senior Doug Lander is entering his 233-pound pig named Bubbles in the fair. When he got his pig in March, she weighed only 120 pounds.

He raised another pig last year and a sheep the year before that. Raising, showing and selling an animal teaches many skills, Lander said, including responsibility, showmanship and feed management to make sure the animal is the right weight to bring in a high bid.

Lander said students also learn business skills because they often contact potential buyers before the fair to make sale arrangements. ``You go out and speak to businesses and get your name out there,'' he said.

Lander is around animals almost all the time. He lives on the Pierce College campus, where his father cares for the animals in the agriculture department. The Lander family lives in a home on the Pierce College farm so the animals can be cared for around the clock.

Lander said his career plans aren't firm, but he knows they will probably involve agriculture in some way.

Gabriela Guzman of Northridge, a sophomore at Canoga Park High, is raising a rabbit named Dewlappy to compete as a show rabbit at the fair. She is raising Dewlappy as a breeder rabbit. The rabbit has already had 11 offspring so far this year. Rabbits have only a 30-day gestation period before giving birth, Guzman said.

What Guzman learns today, she'll probably use in the future. She plans to pursue a career as a veterinarian.

The fair isn't just about animals, though.

A group of students at Sylmar High School are building a large gourmet grill for their fair project.

Senior Gerardo Perez has done a lot of the welding on the grill, and fellow seniors Mark Padilla, Delfino Velasco and Omar Corral have helped with assembly and painting. After the fair, the students plan to hold a barbecue at the school using their new grill.

Perez said he doesn't know if he wants to be a welder professionally, but it's a skill he could fall back on later in life.

Horticulture is another competition category, including landscaping and floral arranging.

At Sylmar High, a group of female students who will be competing at the fair were recently making centerpieces for the school's prom and a districtwide event for culinary students.

Herb Sampang, floral/horticulture teacher, said several of his students have gotten jobs as floral designers in local florist shops and a few have opened shops of their own.

Others have gone to college and studied horticulture.

Senior Alondra Rubalcava said she and her mother, Martha Guerrero, plan to open a floral shop after she graduates this spring. Fellow seniors Giselle Villa and Priscilla Ramos said the floral arranging skills they've learned will probably be hobbies they enjoy the rest of their lives. Professionally, however, Villa plans to study criminal justice and Ramos wants to be a veterinarian.

At North Hollywood High School, teacher Rose Ormsby-Krueger is rebuilding her participation in the San Fernando Valley Fair after taking a five-year break to raise her three children.

Her children are older now, so she's ready to take students to the fair again.

Eight of them will be creating condo gardens. Three of those students are seniors Scott Guzman, Quinn Feldman and Ismael Guerra.

All three of them said they enjoy working outside. ``It's easier for me to do physical work than classroom work,'' Guzman said.

At the fair, the students will be given a bare plot that will be 8 feet by 10 feet with an 8-foot-high wall.

After school on June 6, students will take all the equipment and supplies they'll need to the fair, Ormsby-Krueger said. They will then work all day on June 7 to create their condo garden. They must be done by 10 a.m. June 8, she added.

They'll be using plants and flowers such as nasturtiums, philodendrons and ficus trees in their landscaping design.

All three of the students said they probably wouldn't pursue careers in horticulture, but would use the skills they've learned as hobbies in the future. Guzman plans to go into the Army, Guerra may pursue a career in agriculture (he also raises animals at North Hollywood High) and Feldman wants to become a professional in-line skater.

While this will be their first time to compete at the fair, they all said they're excited to demonstrate the landscaping skills they've learned.

Fair hours are from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. June 8, 4 p.m. to midnight June 9, noon to midnight June 10 and noon to 10 p.m. June 11.

There will be entertainment throughout the fair. Two of the main acts will be Tierra, a Latin r&b group, performing June 9, and ``Platters, Coasters and Drifters,'' a show previously presented at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, hitting the stage June 10.

Ticket prices are $7 for adults (12 and older), $4 for seniors (55 and older), $4 for children 6 to 11 years and free for children 5 and under.

Parking is $5.

For more information, visit www.sfvalleyfair.org.

CAPTION(S):

5 photos

Photo:

(1 -- color) Kurt Becker, a senior at Canoga Park High School, will show his lamb named Star at the San Fernando Valley Fair.

Mark Kellam/Valley News

(2 -- color) Ismael Guerra, Scott Guzman and Quinn Feldman work on a plot of land at North Hollywood High School in preparation to compete in the condo landscaping division at the San Fernando Valley Fair.

(3 -- color) Lambs (above) are among the animals that will be shown at the San Fernando Valley Fair to be held at the Hansen Dam Sports Center.

(4 -- color) Gerardo Perez welds part of the frame of a large gourmet grill he and other students are building at Sylmar High School. The grill will be entered in competition at the San Fernando Valley Fair.

(5 -- color) A group of horticulture students at Sylmar High School (right) make floral centerpieces for a districtwide event for culinary students. These young women will be competing in the floral design division at the San Fernando Valley Fair. Pictured are, from left, Angie Perez, Giselle Villa, Helen Jordan, Priscilla Ramos, Suzette Gusman and Alondra Rubalcava.
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Title Annotation:Valley News
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 31, 2006
Words:1119
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