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James Grothe

Teacher Writing a Formula on a Blackboar


I was born in Portland and grew up in Lake Oswego.  I graduated from Lakeridge High School and went to University of Washington (there goes some votes!).  After an amazing 4 years, I graduated from U of W with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a dual focus of accounting and finance.  After graduation, I decided to move back to Portland and began working for Arthur Andersen as an auditor.  I learned a ton about the in's and out's of companies, but after 3 years I decided being an auditor wasn't the life long career I thought it could be.  My next step was going to work for the company my grandfather started back in 1954.  Along the way I met my beautiful wife, spent 6 years in Boise turning around a struggling branch and then returned to Portland to take over our corporate office.

IMG_8560 1.HEIC


About 9 years ago, I decided to take the leap and coach my son's Rec team with my wife.  I remember it well because we got absolutely destroyed game after game and I was pretty demoralized by the end.  What happened at the end of the season changed my entire perspective of the game forever.  I remember telling a mom that it was my first and last time coaching.  She looked at me and said I had it all wrong.  She proceeded to tell me that even though the kids got blown out every single game, they still kept coming back for more and walked away with smiles on their faces.  She told me that is what makes a coach, not the winning and losing.  Little did she know that moment changed everything for me.  I no longer viewed the game by the score, but instead learned it was about the kids and their experience.  Since that time, I worked both as a coach and a board member to help develop players and create a love of the game while also making it fun.  To this day, I still coach with my wife and we now manage the Westside Timbers Development Program.


I have been married to my wife for over 20 years.  Fortunately for me, getting married in 2000 makes it really easy to calculate and yes, I actually had hair back then!  We have 3 children who all go to school in the district.  Our oldest son goes to Sherwood High School.  Our daughter goes to Sherwood Middle School.  Our youngest son goes to Ridges Elementary School.  The past several years we have had all three kids at different schools, which has provided us with some valuable insight into each location.  Of course, it has also required a lot of transportation to and from. 


Family means everything to me and so much of what I do between the school volunteering and soccer coaching centers around making a better future for my kids.

Cleats on Soccer Ball


A long time ago, back in those early years, I had considered being a teacher.  My life went in a different direction, but that interest in teaching never went away.  Instead of being in the classroom, I spend most of my spare time helping the children of Sherwood, on the soccer field and within our schools.  The past year I have watched as parents tempers flare and patience deteriorate as we all spent countless hours at home with our kids trying to further their education while facing so many challenges.  I received the district email that included attachments about how to vote.  I also have concerns about the communication from the district regarding social issues.  Right now, we need kids back in school and working to catch up.  That needs to be the focus.  We need someone who has the experience and leadership skills to jump in and hit the ground running.  I have the utmost respect for our Board and district employees as they do work hard and have faced some very serious challenges.  I think in their hearts, they want the best for our kids.  However, I also feel it is time for new ideas and opinions and a greater representation of directors with children in the district.  The key for me is that we have someone on the board who is ready to listen openly to all parties, interested in setting a clear path forward, eager to remove politics and social agendas from our schools and bottom line is looking out for our kids.  That person is me and I hope to have your support in May to accomplish those goals and make a difference in our schools.

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