What Have You Done Lately?

EXPERIENCE

Sherwood Resident Since 2006

I have been a proud Sherwood resident for 15 years.  Our family has had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and support many different programs through volunteering and donations.  With 3 children in the district, attending 3 different schools, we get insight into a lot of the school happenings.  We are looking forward to the end of this pandemic when we can get out and see everyone once again.

Edy Ridge Site Council

(2014 - 2019)

The Site Council is a group of teachers, parents, and classified employees who work with the principal to develop, review and evaluate the school improvement plan and participate in events that help represent the school.  This was a great opportunity to be active within the school, build relationships and work to improve our schools and the student's experiences.  We were able to provide insight into switching lunch to be after recess and improving the playground.  We also had the chance to see the metrics of how Edy Ridge stood up against the State.  I really enjoyed the 5 years on this committee.

Boundary Committee

(2014 - 2015)

The Boundary Committee was formed to help find a balance in student attendance across our schools.  In 2014, the district was facing significant overcrowding at some schools while also experiencing lower attendance numbers at others.  The committee was tasked to equalize things as much as possible at both the elementary and middle schools.  This turned into an incredibly contentious task as nobody wants to see their child shifted from one school to another.  As part of this process, I created a web based program, which allowed us to take the district population map we were provided and shift community subsections around to see how it affected school attendance numbers.  Although I spent countless hours working this puzzle, I never found a win-win solution and in the end we had to propose to the Board what was best for the district overall.

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Bond Campaign Chairman

(2016)

Sherwood schools were facing significant overcrowding issues across all levels with many more families expected to move in.  Building maintenance was overdue and our curriculum was outdated.  We needed funds for technology and to strengthen the security at our schools.  I was asked to lead and chair the campaign to get a bond passed to accomplish all of these initiatives.  This required a lot of hours fundraising, educating community members of our need and a strong team to support the effort.  Fortunately for our Sherwood students, the campaign was successful and a bond was passed to make our school district even stronger.

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Sherwood Soccer Coach

(2012 - Current)

I have had the honor to coach for both Sherwood Youth Soccer Club and Westside Timbers Soccer Club.  I have found coaching to be an incredibly rewarding experience, yet also an amazing way to be a role model and teach players how to be respectful and professional both on and off the field.  It is always fun to hear the "Coach James" and see players that I coached so many years ago come up and say hi.  Sometimes it takes a minute to realize who they are since some have grown up so much (and masks).  I am currently running the Development Program for Westside Timbers, which allows my wife and I to focus on the youngest players and provide them with the baseline skills to be successful in the game while also making it as fun as possible.  I feel blessed to be part of the soccer community and have the opportunity to work with our Sherwood kids.

Home Owners Associations

Back when I lived just outside of Boise, ID, I was Treasurer and later President of an HOA that had nearly 500 homes and was a brand new subdivision.  The challenges included having been left with no funding and later working through the issues that come with so many homes and so many opinions.  It was a great opportunity when I was young to learn the importance of listening to many sides and making the hard decisions that will always leave someone upset.  In addition, I was involved with the HOA for our vacation home.  This was a challenge because the HOA was actually owned by the builder and he had full control of everything.  After leaving the Board, I was able to work behind the scenes to help the Board negotiate a deal for the homeowners to take control of the HOA that turned into a win-win for everyone.

Bond Oversight Committee

(2017 - 2020)

After the bond measure was passed, I volunteered to be part of the Bond Oversight Committee.  This committee was created to oversee district expenditures related to the bond.  I spent a lot of time getting the bond passed and the last thing I wanted to see were massive delays or overspending when I was out asking people to put their hard earned money into the district.  We reported quarterly to the Board with both positive highlights and concerns.  I was very impressed by how the district managed the taxpayer funded bond and came in within budget and on time.  The projects they completed faced some very serious challenges that included significant rises in costs and of course Covid.  

Sherwood Youth Soccer Board

(2015 - 2017)

After having coached for Sherwood Soccer for several years, I approached the Board with a plan to make some pretty significant changes to the program.  It was my Jerry Maguire moment.  Fortunately for me, they agreed and I became the Director of Coaching (I can't recall the exact title, but it became Director of Soccer Programs).  Soon after, I became the Vice President on the Board as well.  The program I put in place was done to help balance teams and attempt to remove the focus on win/loss and shift to developing players skills and working with volunteer coaches to improve the program overall.  Change generally rattles people, so it took some time to get buy-in and there were certainly some challenges along the way.  The irony of it all was the last year I was on the board, we couldn't run the program as designed due to field conditions and instead of complaints about what I had created, the complaints were that it wasn't done that year.  Although it was a ton of work, I had the opportunity to met some incredible people, including board members, coaches, players and parents.  In the end, I felt like I had made a difference.

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