Instructors & Staff

The Institute’s FlowerSchool staff includes seasoned professionals and educators with years of experience and expertise.  Here at FlowerSchool students work with real, working professionals who have years of experience in expertise in their field.  Meet your instructors:

Calvert Crary, Executive Director, Instructor

Calvert Crary is the Executive Director of both FlowerSchool New York and FlowerSchool Los Angeles, and author of Flower School: A Practical Guide to the Art of Flower Arranging (Nov 2020).

An internationally recognized instructor and mentor, Calvert has taught programs across the United States, Holland, Mexico and Australia, and was this year’s judge for the prestigious PHS Philadelphia Flower Show.

Calvert has trained and coached thousands of students on how to work in the floral industry with top designers, start new businesses, or reorganize existing floral businesses into thriving careers.

Tom Sebenius, Operations Director & Instructor

Tom Sebenius credits his love of flowers to his long-time association with the Pasadena Tournament of Rose Parade.  Since the age of 9, Tom has been lending his talents to the decoration of the parade’s floral masterpieces.  After obtaining a degree in Theatrical Design from Fordham University in NYC, Tom melded his appreciation for drama, pageantry and flowers into working for several well-respected event floral companies in both Los Angeles and New York, eventually co-founding his own floral studio in 2013.  After numerous speaking engagements including the Society of American Florist conference and The Macy’s Flower Show, it didn’t take long for Tom to heed the call of his second vocation, teaching.  The Flower School Los Angeles provides Tom the perfect opportunity to inspire new designers and continue to grow and promote the floral industry.

Jessi Owens, Instructor​

Jessi Owens has been involved the floral design industry since the age of 17, where she started working at a flower shop in her hometown of Ridgefield, CT. While attending Savannah College of Art and Design for a BFA in Fashion Marketing and Management, she started her career in wedding planning. Her passion for events grew from there, inspiring her to work in the Savannah wedding industry and become a Certified Wedding Planner through The Bridal Society.

As the Events Director at FlowerSchool New York, Jessi enjoys harnessing her love for floral design and event planning into creating unique experiences with our designers and private clients. Jessi teaches Event Planning courses in LA.

Juan Villanueva, Instructor

Juan M. Villanueva, owner of Villanueva Designs, is a second-generation florist from South Texas, who for the past 10 years has successfully served Manhattan and its surrounding areas, as the city’s best kept floral design secret.

Having studied fine arts at the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Juan and his company bring an experienced artistic touch to all their projects. They specialize in private client, trade shows & corporate galas but are equally known for their indoor/outdoor urban gardens. On his journey, he has had the privilege of working with A-list celebrities, titans of industry, world-renowned interior designers, premier fashion houses & amazing humanitarian organizations. Juan teaches select workshops for FlowerSchool New York.