Yost

Washougal, WA — The successful Washougal School District Career and Technical Education (CTE) program focuses on providing students with real world experiences led by knowledgeable, passionate staff.  The newest addition to that staff is Alexandra Yost, Washougal’s first CTE Professional Technical Assistant or Pro Tech, for short. 

“We are delighted that Alex is bringing her extensive business and culinary background to the team,” said Margaret Rice, WSD CTE Director.  Yost is the former owner and chef of OurBar in downtown Washougal and is currently a member of the Washougal City Council. She is also very politically active in the area, and frequently attends and organizes local Black Lives Matter (BLM) rallies condemning police violence while calling for racial equality and justice. She has also advocated for defunding the Washougal police.

“Alex’s focus along with supporting CTE teachers will be managing two new, exciting CTE educational opportunities that feature project-based learning,” said Rice. “One is the development of a CTE operated food truck and the second is implementation of a Green Schools Program to our high school in collaboration with WSD Culinary Services.”

In spring 2020, a food truck was purchased by the WSD CTE Department with the goal to create a student-led food truck business.  “This truck will literally be a vehicle for learning,” said Rice.  “Literally!  It is also an extension of our professional kitchen facility in the Excelsior Building at WHS.”

The learning around the food truck is expected to reach far beyond the development of food plans and food service. 

“WHS students will participate in all aspects of the project development,” explained Yost.  “Students will work on a business plan, learn about health department rules, navigate through local permitting and licensing, develop manuals for training and safety and even the creation of marketing.  There will also be opportunities in manufacturing, welding, small engine service/repair and maintenance for students interested in those CTE experiences.”

When operational, the food truck will be available for hire to serve the community at events and will be student led.  Yost is developing a team of mentors to counsel students in this project work.

“We want as many aspects of the food truck as we can to be project-based and student led/created so the first step is a contest to develop a name and will be open to all students of WSD,” explained Rice. “The name should be representative of our community, perhaps with some derivative Washougal.  It needs to be appropriate for all ages, be catchy and not already copyrighted.” 

The contest process is in the works and will be announced soon and run through February 26. Details can be found on the Washougal School District website at http://www.washougal.k12.wa.us/cte/food-truck/.  The next student contest will be to design the artwork to adorn the truck.

Yost is also tasked with development of a CTE Green Team.  This effort will bring education, sustainability, and reduced carbon footprint to the WSD High School Culinary Services department, which became self-operated over the summer.

“A major aspect of that transition has been the move to scratch production of meals,” said Rice. “With that change it was also the right time to bring the Green Schools concept to the high school.  Our students have been sorting and recycling food waste and trash in our elementary and middle schools for some time. The high school program will provide an opportunity for students to continue these efforts.”

“Ultimately we want to take this Green Team experience and education down to the classroom level as well as eventually developing a Green Ambassadors program in which students are driving the program forward leading a sustainable program that can be passed on for years to come,” said Yost.

This environmentally focused program sits firmly in WSD’s mission pillars of sustainability and stewardship of resources, partnerships to support students, educational engagement, and equity to include all students. The goal is to involve students to significantly reduce our carbon footprint and contributions to the landfill while taking these experiences forward in life.  Their efforts also help to save District operational funds by reducing waste and disposal costs.  

“The program also brings in aspects of our career and college readiness by introducing students to companies such as Waste Connections,” said Rice.  “They will see various elements of career opportunities they may not have realized existed. In a time when it seems like everything is changing and nothing is ‘normal’, we are trying to take every opportunity to teach our students how to learn from change, collaborate and adapt to find efficiencies in the ‘new’ so we can continually improve the current situation.”

17 replies
  1. Kevin Sudbeck
    Kevin Sudbeck says:

    It’s fascinating that most BLM supporters are white liberals living in predominantly white areas. I wonder if they’ve ever actually met a black person?

    Reply
    • Be Reasonable
      Be Reasonable says:

      The most important point I can make here is that a VAST majority of the people who attend BLM rallies aren’t formally associated with the organization. They are just people standing up for a cause that they believe in and protesting for more racial justice. Just as all those who trespassed and vandalized The Capitol early this month weren’t actively part of far-right militia groups. I think you’re being unfair to state that “No one affiliated with BLM should be near children” there are bad actors in every organization. If you feel comfortable making that statement, and you think that others should believe it based on the history of the actions of a few members, then you should also believe that no one affiliated with the Catholic church should be near children based on their past abuse issues, and that other people should believe that based on the well documented history of abuse. This is a very reasonable analogy. If you don’t feel that both pose a similar safety risk, then you’re not arguing on principal, but instead arguing on your own biases. To be clear, I don’t think either statement is true. I think the vast majority of PEOPLE, which includes Catholics, and BLM folks are good at their core and can be trusted to be a part of our society. Next time you make statements like that I would encourage you to question whether or not you would feel it were fair if leveled against you and organizations you support. If not, then you should probably keep it to yourself.

      Now, maybe you really do believe what you said at its core. And that’s fine, you get to say whatever you want here, but based on the discourse in our society in the last few years I feel like you’re just trying to be incendiary rather than add value, provide influence, or be informative.

      Reply
      • A Lucido
        A Lucido says:

        Appreciate your response, I’m considering moving to the area…I heard large population of white supremacists live in the area… noticing small to no people of color …makes me curious if I’d fit in

        Reply
        • Clint
          Clint says:

          There is not a whole lot of white supremacists in the town. In fact there is none. I’ve lived here since 1974 an this towns had issues in the past but that’s what it was the past. We don’t put up with BLM bullshit we treat everyone equal. It’s a great town with great schools with zero issues with color. We’re all real good people here

          Reply
  2. Upset parent
    Upset parent says:

    Really? A person who has rioted with BLM an helped destroy portland was a good choice. We don’t need someone who pushes her beliefs on us or around our kids. Does she have a teaching license. Does she even know the cost an upkeep of a food truck. Does she even know how to run a food truck an who’s idea was it to use school funds to buy a food truck. Obviously someone needs to step in an keep our School council in check on their spending an on their hiring choices. Does she have culinary experience an knowledge of food handling or running an cleaning a food truck. Just another way washougal school district is spending money they don’t need to spend. Probably is a family member. Need to sell the truck an repay the tax payers an have a vote on any future spending an keep the council in check. Let’s do stuff for our teachers an school employee s before starting a new venture during a pandemic

    Reply
    • PNW Mom
      PNW Mom says:

      Please email the Washougal superintendent and school board members with your concerns.
      I am sending mine shortly as well!
      Community voices need to be heard.

      Reply
    • Be Reasonable
      Be Reasonable says:

      It states quite clearly that she was the chef/owner of a local restaurant in Washougal… So I would fully expect that she is qualified on that front. As to the your assertion that she has rioted and destroyed Portland. I attended a BLM rally as a show of solidarity with my wife and children who are people of color and I assure you that we didn’t cause damage to anyone or anything, nor witness any. This of course doesn’t mean that this isn’t happening, but isn’t really fair of you to assert that anyone involved is engaged in inappropriate or illegal activity. All organizations have bad actors.

      That said, I do sincerely respect your concern that an outspoken person with radically different views than your own will be in a position to influence your kids. You have the right to be concerned about that, but until you can demonstrate that this is actively occurring I think you owe her the benefit of the doubt. I am not a religious person, but if I read a similar statement praising a new staff member’s work with the church and their religious background, I wouldn’t worry that those beliefs are going to be imposed on my children. I will give the benefit of the doubt to all people that they will draw an appropriate professional line. Only after that line is crossed would it really be appropriate to be upset, in my opinion.

      As to the food truck, the article states that it was purchased in Spring of 20′. This was likely already happeneing before we knew what to expect of the pandemic. I do see how the optics of that choice aren’t great for some, but the timing was likely a coincidence. I do think it makes a lot of sens though. This CTE program sounds like it is essentially a trade program. Kitchen work is quite a large profession, so it makes sense to me that we would have a training program for it. Would you have been happier to see that they built a small scale commercial kitchen within an existing building to accomplish this? Because, as someone who has opened several restaurants, I assure you that would be far more expensive then buying and rehabbing a used truck. If you don’t think culinary arts should included in a trade program, that’s fine. To each their own there, but this was probably a pretty economical way to go about it.

      Reply
      • A Lucido
        A Lucido says:

        Appreciate your comment, great respect in your delivery. My concern of relocating to the area…lacks diversity, you mentioned being a family from non white roots, how are you feeling with raising your family there,

        Reply
        • Be Reasonable
          Be Reasonable says:

          Hey Lucido,

          I am white, my wife and kids are mixed. I’ve lived in the Vancouver area since I was in middle school and it is indeed a very white area, just as Portland as a whole is. Anecdotally, I would say the largest immigrant populations in Vancouver are Asian and Russian families. As you move west you will notice more diversity. As you get into Camas, and further east into Washougal, you definitely move into more of a small town feel with a lot less diversity. My experience growing up was through a different lens than yours would be, but my wife often comments on how much she wishes we lived further into the city where our kids would have more opportunity to see other viewpoints and experience more cultures – but frankly, there aren’t many areas of the Porrland metro that would really meaningfully change our experience anyway. We both think that Camas is a fantastic town, and we like how quiet the area is, but we often weigh the idea of moving closer in to trade those luxuries for a more inclusive experience for our kids. It is hard for me to say how much underlying bigotry and racism exist in the community because, being white, I don’t really feel it in those situations where it is not overt, the way that my wife does, or that you might… but based on another commenter saying there are no white supremacists in town and immediately following it up with “we don’t put up with BLM bullshit we treat everyone equal” tells you what kind of a vibe you can expect some from folks. I imagine that commenter sincerely believes that they’re not racist. But as I’m sure you know better than most, they likely make a lot of assumptions and change their behavior in interactions with POCs subconsciously. Is that better than overt racism? Of course, but I think as a whole as you move further north or east in Clark county you will see more of this. I don’t know how much help that is giving you, but it is about the best that I can do.

          Reply
      • Upset parent
        Upset parent says:

        Running a restaurant an a food truck are completely different and the money spent was my taxes that was paid for it. That money should of went to the schools teachers an for buildings needs. We don’t need her leftist cried to be pushed on our kids. Also don’t think for a second she won’t do exactly that. What it comes down to is she has no teaching certificate an has zero experience in food truck experience. I will be advocate ing for her to be removed. Anyone who rioted an pushed their point of views onto others don’t need to be in a position of educator or athority

        Reply
  3. Betty McCallum
    Betty McCallum says:

    Alex is a wonderful person. Washougal High is lucky to have her and her extensive knowledge. I would want my children and grandchildren to benefit from her experience. I have not heard about this CTE program. It sounds amazing.

    Reply
  4. Anita Gillingham
    Anita Gillingham says:

    Why hasn’t the parents gone to the school board? if a man who goings out to the football field to privately pray get fired! Why does she still have a job!

    Reply
  5. Mill Rat
    Mill Rat says:

    Sounds like just the kind of trash we want educating children, great job and another perfect example why the people who were born and raised in that area for generations are getting out…keep portland in oregon

    Reply
  6. G Finel
    G Finel says:

    Oh boy a city council member and wants to defund the police. Now she is going to teach the children of Washougal. Great choice!!!

    Reply
  7. John Dee
    John Dee says:

    No no and no. A full year of protests and riots, burning, looting, assaults and killings. I dont want anyone associated with that organization influencing my children. Wth is wrong with the school board hiring these people? Its not where i want my tax dollars spent.

    Reply

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