Alumni Spotlight: Xtehn Frame '98

Xtehn Titcomb Frame ’98 spent most of his free time at Seattle Country Day School with a disc in hand. He was in good company: his role model, Grades 7-8 Social Studies Teacher Ms. Lowry, is in the Ultimate Hall of Fame, and her lessons—academically and athletically—have stuck with him. Whether in a business meeting or on the field, Xtehn credits his confidence in the face of challenges to his time at SCDS.

Frame has always possessed an entrepreneurial spirit. Starting in elementary school, he took advantage of opportunities to build new things with his own hands. “I remember labs in Doc O’s class,” Frame says. “It was, ‘go make a mess and figure out how it works.’” This independent work encouraged him to think critically, solve problems, and form hypotheses. “In that lab space we could do what we wanted, but we were also held accountable to explain why we tried what we did.”

His parents also supported this experiential learning. “We were raised to create things,” he says of his four siblings, who are Ultimate players, entrepreneurs, and three of whom are also SCDS alumni. “Our school, our parents, and the people they surrounded themselves with cultivated a desire to build and create.”

Frame and his siblings have successfully created a lot of new things, most notably the just-out-of-college project that turned into what is now Five Ultimate, an apparel store for Ultimate players and teams. They sell jerseys, shorts, US National Team wear, youth clothing, and branded team outfits, to name a few. What is now a far-reaching company started out in a garage. “At first, it was an after-hours experiment. Then we turned it into a business with the five of us kids. Most of us were still in school. At the time my youngest sister was still in high school.”

Despite the siblings’ separation between life transitions—graduating from high school, college, and beginning full time jobs—they turned their late-night passion project into a full-fledged business model. Now, the energetic Frame is the Director of eCommerce, and as his additional title states, “Unable to Not Run Everywhere.”

Five years ago, the siblings also founded the Seattle Cascades, a professional ultimate team that competes in the West Division of the American Ultimate Disc league. Frame previously played for the Chicago Machine and Seattle Sockeye, but is now both a player and General Manager for the team. Frame highly values the kinetic nature of his dual jobs: in the same day, he can sit and write emails, and then play at Memorial Stadium. He believes mind and body learning allows you to “meet new people and discover new places you haven’t been before.”

When not playing, Frame organizes home game staff, production and operation teams, procures sponsorships, and collaborates with other team owners. In the face of business challenges, Frame says his SCDS foundation helps him “view a challenge with the assumption that I can come up with the answer. I learned there is value in trying, as opposed to thinking, ‘I don’t know the answer so I’ll just leave it.’”

Frame has also seen the next generation of ultimate players overcome challenges on the field. He recently coached a current SCDS Middle School student in a select Ultimate program for ten practices and one tournament. “It’s refreshing to see that the next generation is as motivated as I was, and am, to be a great player and teammate.”

This level of sportsmanship is one of the many core values instilled in Ultimate teams. “People want to play because of the culture and community; it’s a very inclusive and accessible sport.” Known for its mental strategy, self-officiating, and value of diversity, Ultimate exemplifies the connection between athletics and social and emotional learning. As Five Ultimate’s mission statement illuminates, “Ultimate is good for the world.”