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Jim Roaldson has his hands on dozens of activities at Jamestown High

Roaldson transitioned from a teacher and coach at the high school to his current role.

Jim Roaldson
Jamestown High School activities director Jim Roaldson looks down at the crowd from the press box at Charlotte and Gordon Hansen Stadium during the Blue Jays football game against Bismarck Century on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022.
Max O'Neill / The Jamestown Sun
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JAMESTOWN — Jamestown High School has 43 different extra-curricular activities available for students and one man oversees them all. Since 2004, Jim Roaldson has served as the activities director at Jamestown High School.

Roaldson also oversees all of the support staff that go along with the different activities, including ticket takers and ushers, and officials. By virtue of all he has to balance, Roaldson emphasized that every day is a different adventure.

“It can come down to when I walk into the office early in the morning, is the red light flashing on the messages, is there an email that is out there,” Roaldson said. “Is there a phone call coming, one of those things that can totally change your day in a hurry, everything from transportation, to officials to schedules, facility issues, you name it. Sometimes it’s a lot of prep on the front side hoping to put things in place as much as possible but being able to react and change on the fly as needed.”

Over the last 18 years, Roaldson said he has had to figure out how to solve problems in a way that isn’t always the most obvious solution.

“In the role that I have, I think that’s one of the things that I’ve had to learn and adjust to, is that sometimes things aren’t always going to be perfect and sometimes you just have to find a way to make changes that will work,” Roaldson said.

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As a result, Roaldson said his hours per day and how many days he works per week fluctuate based on what is happening that day and week. He also said he takes time off in the middle of June but he usually spends a few hours in the office to prepare for the upcoming school year.

Roaldson also said he gives a lot of credit to his assistant Shastity Boehm for helping him organize all of the moving pieces that he has to keep track of. Roaldson said he doesn't watch as much of the Blue Jays events as he wants to sometimes because he is constantly moving around and making sure everything is running smoothly during the games.

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The Jamestown High School cross-country and volleyball teams were in action on Sept. 24.

Each season, the Jamestown Blue Jays have five home regular season games at Charlotte and Gordon Hansen Stadium. While Roaldson said both schools take care of their own setups and teardowns, Roaldson and his workers help make it easier for the college to prepare for the Jimmies game.

Hansen Stadium is one of five shared facilities between the high school and the University of Jamestown. Roaldson said with the schools sharing as many as facilities as they do, particularly John L. Wilson Arena where the teams could consistently play on the same day, he and Jimmies athletic director Austin Hieb and Jimmies coaches work together to make sure they are not creating conflicts as they put together their schedules.

One of the most recent teams that has started at the University of Jamestown is the women’s swimming and diving team, which utilizes the pool at Jamestown High School. Roaldson said the collegiate swimmers and divers are practicing in the mornings before school and the high school swimmers and divers are holding practice after school.

“It’s been real important that we both recognize the need to have each other,” Roaldson said. “Every young elementary student in Jamestown is a potential Blue Jay or will be a Blue Jay for the most part. I think UJ understands that even though not all of their students are former Jamestown High students, that it’s important for them too that we are able to do the things that we do because we’re in it together. We definitely want to be able to see them have success to and share it.”

One of the challenges that Roaldson has to face is putting together the schedule. However, he explained it is done in conjunction with the Western Dakota Association. He said the hardest sports to schedule for are spring sports because of the weather concerns and how much the sports are reliant on the weather cooperating.

“Years that you always schedule baseball and softball for early April, kind of tongue and cheek thinking that, OK, we could get started this year but I also try to keep some dates available at the back end of things or in the middle of the season, knowing full well, knowing there is a really good chance we might have to move these dates,” Roaldson said.

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Roaldson said his favorite part of being the activities director is working with the students and coaches.

“I’m there for them and working for them but in a different light. It’s not like I get to work with each and every student, every day. I’m working for all the students, all the coaches, every single day and that’s different,” Roaldson said.

Hello,
My name is Max O'Neill. I am a Sports Reporter at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
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