Line of adults stand in front of a food truck with ribbon in front of them.

Left to right: Jim Cooper, Angela Hancock, Chuck Carpenter, Cory Chase, Mary Templeton, Margaret Rice, Sadie McKenzie, and Mayor David Stuebe

On February 2, 2023, Washougal School District celebrated the opening of Shoug Shack, the district’s first ever student-run food truck with an official ribbon cutting ceremony. Students in Career & Technical Education programs at Washougal High School applied classroom learning to solve real world problems by planning and preparing this student-run food truck. Washougal School District is an emerging leader in Career & Technical Education, supporting 16 national career clusters available for students to explore meaningful job readiness skills.

“This student-run food cart is one example of our dedication to bring job-readiness skills to classroom learning. Preparing students with knowledge and experience relevant to their future careers best serves our students and our community,” said Washougal School District Superintendent Mary Templeton.

Washougal School District Superintendent Mary Templeton, Career & Technical Education Director Margaret Rice, and Mayor David Stuebe delivered opening remarks and cut the ribbon on the new food truck. The food truck is a culmination of classroom learning for students in Career & Technical Education programs at Washougal High School including Digital Photography, Social Media Marketing and Culinary Arts.

“Washougal School District creates opportunities for students to build confidence in starting, running, and marketing a business selling real products. Our Career & Technical Education programs introduce students to industry standards and professional settings,” said Margaret Rice, Director of Career & Technical Education for the Washougal School District. The Shoug Shack opens the door for students to gain experience within the Hospitality & Tourism industries such as working in commercial kitchens, and now a food truck, before graduating high school.

Mayor David Stuebe proclaimed February as Career & Technical Education month in Washougal during the event. “Career and Technical Education is offering a path to success in the 21st century economy while helping to address the urgent need for skilled labor in high-demand industries, and it is enabling numerous Washougal students to secure gainful employment and lead productive, fulfilling lives,” said Stuebe.

Students learned business management, restaurant operation, and teamwork skills through this hands-on project. Riley Harding, Washougal High School student in the Culinary Arts program, was one of 23 students involved in applying classroom learning to plan and operate this new food truck. “We have been developing and testing our chili recipes in preparation for the launch. All of the recipes, including the mulled cider were developed by students,” said Harding. “Having the food truck is an opportunity for us to gain real business experience in the culinary industry. It lets us put our classroom skills to work in a real business and gives us a leg up when heading out into the world of work.” 

Culinary Arts students served chili and refreshments out of the newly dedicated food truck immediately following the ribbon cutting. Following the ribbon cutting, the Shoug Shack will be used as an extension of the Advanced Culinary Classroom where, on occasion, students will create and serve meals in collaboration with WSD Culinary Services during lunchtimes at all district schools. Students will also have opportunities in the future to serve items out of the food truck at community events.

Washougal School District knows, nurtures, and challenges all students to rise. The Shoug Shack project was made possible thanks to partnerships with industry professionals Lori Reed at Reed Creative, Jeff Hartup at Valleyhoo, and Washougal High School graduate Luke Flock.  To learn more about Career & Technical Education programs at Washougal School District, visit /cte/.