Kevin Roline is learning the ‘community’ part of school’s community education
While he officially started as Staples Motley Community Education Director on July 1, Kevin Roline spent the month before that getting immersed in the places where education meets community.
“I’m still learning all the pieces that go with the position,” said Roline.
As a native of Staples, Roline said he’s surprised by everything community education covers. “I’m finding activities I’d never paid attention to before,” he said. “I hope no one ever says there’s nothing to do here, because the calendar is full of things. Staples and Motley are some busy towns.”
He said he couldn’t find a calender with a box large enough to put the things going on some days. In just his first couple of days on the job, he has helped with Railroad Days planning, Lamp Camp, alumni basketball tournament, softball camps and a quilting workshop. He’s started scheduling the middle school play and helped coach pee wee baseball practice.
Roline has changed profession after 29 years as a local insurance agent. His father ran the same business for 23 years before that. “The American Family company is important, it’s weird to see the family name leaving,” he said. But he said his parents, who passed away last year, were big community supporters and would’ve understood his decision.
He decided to give up the insurance business because trying doing two things could’ve left one of them short. “Being able to focus my energy on my passion, something my heart is in, it’s really neat,” said Roline. “I’ve always had a passion for the community, education, kids and all the things the community has to offer.”
While outwardly there isn’t much in common between the insurance business and community education, Roline said he is finding some similarities.
“It’s fun to work with people and talk with people,” he said, “I got that visiting part from my dad. I like to hear their stories.”
And many of the stories a community education director hears ends with a suggestion for a class or activity. “People are making suggestions all the time, I’m trying to tie things together,” he said. “If people have classes they want, we’ll try to get them here.”
Roline’s been involved in community education as a participant, parent, businessman and coach. He remembers playing as a kid and coaching t-ball as a parent. “I’ve done the same activities they’re doing now,” he said.
Roline’s been an assistant coach for the varsity softball team for several years. He said he plans to be a hands-on community education director when he can. “I like to get involved, I don’t want to just sit here in the office every day,” he said.
Where his office might be located is still undecided. He’s currently located in the district office. Plans are in the works to move either to the high school office or another location, with a decision to be made by Aug. 1.
Going out to the activities also helps keep him energized. “The baseball leagues have such good parents and help the kids out, they will brighten your day every time.”
In learning the position, Roline praised Tricia Jasmer, who had been taking care of community education from the Staples Community Center and has helped him with the transition, along with people at the school. “It’s a great community to work in,” he said, “they’re good, fun, positive people and they’re more than willing to help me.”
He’s especially interested in the community aspect of community education, and how the school district facilitates so many things that are outside the system.
He said he hopes the community education position will be settled after a few years of changes. “I want a system that will work the cleanest, so that you only have to contact one person,” said Roline.
Roline can be reached at 218-894-2497. He plans to keep office hours Monday through Wednesday; 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays; 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., but added he will likely be available more hours, depending on what’s going on.
“I still have the energy and excitement to look forward to coming to work every day,” he said.