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The Tartan Truck, a Dream Realized To Be Unveiled at 2012 Homecoming Game

25 October 2012 admin 2,580 views 2 Comments Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

By Clayton Chalmers, Grade 7

Dream. That’s what you can do at St. Margaret’s. Here we are allowed to make our dreams a reality with teachers that guide you, administration that supports you, and fellow students that come together and make dreams a reality.

That is how the vision for the Tartan Truck unfolded.

Two years ago, I had a dream to bring a school symbol to life that included innovation, science, history and community. I asked my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Hawkins, to help me with the project, research, and create a power point presentation so that I could present my vision to our headmaster, Mr. Hurlbut. I wanted to prove that my preliminary research into the project of a truck could turn into an iconic symbol of St. Margaret’s.

In looking for the truck, Mr. Hurlbut charged me with the responsibility of locating a truck built in 1979, the year our school was founded. We set our sights on that model year and looked at several models before narrowing it down to a Ford 250 pickup truck. There were several logical reasons to pick this model that supported ideas I had for uses for the truck. First, a pickup truck could hold the percussion instruments of the Tartan Marching Band for performances, both on and off the field. Second, it could hold donated goods that would ultimately be delivered around the community to places like Father Serra’s Food Pantry in San Juan Capistrano, where the school community frequently makes food donations. Finally, every time you see the Tartan Truck, it represents St. Margaret’s, and the good it is doing for our school and for the community.

Another mission of the Tartan Truck, was to support our school’s green efforts and set our sights to make the truck environmentally green.

The first step of the project was to redo the exterior of the truck with loving elbow grease by a small team of students that included William Riddle, grade 6, Alex Choi, grade 8, Michael Morgan, grade 8, and Gavin Clarke, grade 7, led by Mr. Carbajal. We took apart the truck. We redid the truck’s bed, took all the chrome off and polished it, cleaned the inside and put it back together. With the help of Family Classic Cars and their mechanics, we worked all summer and fall to redo the exterior in an environmentally friendly manner.

A St. Margaret’s family, the Rashtchis who own a major signage company Super Color Digital, joined our efforts and was instrumental in helping us achieve a finished outside Tartan look of the truck, which proudly shows our plaid colors and logos. Our very own car and truck aficionado, Mr. Carbajal led the design of the Truck and oversaw the entire project from the beginning.

This coming year, we will be investigating an alternative fuel source to be implemented next summer. We will once again take the Tartan Truck apart, this time from the inside of the engine, and look to make it run on an alternate fuel system, to be determined.

It’s a big dream. But I know it can happen. At St. Margaret’s, with teachers, faculty, administration, outside community partners, and most importantly, fellow students, I know it can happen.

And that’s what happens at St. Margaret’s, dreams become a reality because here, your dreams are supported, guided, and nurtured.

I am proud to unveil the Tartan Truck, a special iconic symbol for a special school. Please let us know if you want to be a part of the next phase of this dream by contacting Mr. Carbajal.

Go Tartans and thank you for your support!


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  • FrEarl said:

    I love it, way to go Clayton and team !

  • Josephs Family said:

    Awesome job Clayton, Mr. Carbajal and rest of team!