Business teacher McCaffrey retires


After selling his health care company, Jim McCaffrey became a business teacher and has taught at Tualatin High School for 19 years

Emily Phuong Tran, Co-Feature Editor

After 19 years at Tualatin High School, business teacher Jim McCaffrey is retiring. “Mr. Mac,” as his students know him, is credited with developing the business program at the school, which has grown to include marketing, accounting and personal finance. 

He has also served as the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) adviser. The club has won 13 state championships under his supervision and individual students bring in state titles every year. 

FBLA president Braquelle Blanchard, who won first in Public Speaking state championships, has enjoyed having McCaffrey as a teacher and an adviser.

“He is extremely knowledgeable about business and truly cares about passing his success down to his students. He has made FBLA at TuHS an extremely rewarding group to be a part of and someone I have been able to look up to for sure,” Blanchard said. 

McCaffrey also established Personal Finance, a class open only to juniors and seniors that teaches money management skills. The class is now in its eighth year and McCaffrey says it’s very popular. 

“When students leave me, they say it should be a graduation requirement…Learning about money, tax, credits. It’s so important for you guys at this age,” he said.

After starting his own company specializing in IV medication, McCaffrey sold the pharmacy and took a year off to figure out his second career. His wife suggested he go into teaching, so McCaffrey went to Western Oregon University to earn his masters degree. 

He student-taught business at TuHS, but the school didn’t have a position for him. The following year, he went down to Arizona to open up a new high school and coach their basketball team. 

On Christmas Day, he got a call from the then-Tualatin principal, who wanted him to come back for an opening. 

“That’s why I say I walked into Tualatin High School,” McCaffrey stated.

The principal asked McCaffrey to grow the business program and Career Technical Education (CTE) overall. He estimates he has taught between 50 and 60 Certified Public Accountants throughout the years. Since McCaffrey’s arrival, CTE has expanded from a much smaller business program to various extensive programs, such as Hospitality and Tourism and Early Childhood Education. 

For years, he taught in a big classroom in the hallway connecting freshmen and sophomore halls. Former students will remember the massive wall of university t-shirts in his classroom – “Mac’s Wall of Fame.” The tradition started with a student who brought back a Boise State T-shirt, signed with his name and a note to McCaffrey. Since then, many students have come back for the chance to see their own T-shirts hung up on the famous wall. 

“It was a huge reflection of how many kids had come through and had a good experience…It was a really good homage to all the students. In a way, the business classes that they took put them on a path,” he added.

McCaffrey said he’ll always be proud to say he was a teacher. He doesn’t yet have a set plan for his retirement.

“I’m gonna enjoy myself, I’m gonna travel, play golf…I’ll probably volunteer in some areas that are passionate to me,” he said. 

The Wolf thanks Jim McCaffrey for his years of teaching at Tualatin High School and wishes him a happy retirement!