An athletic director is one of the busiest people in a high school, dealing with several responsibilities each day.
RCS athletic director Melinda Goodson, a Roxboro native, attended Person High School and played on the Rockets’ varsity women’s basketball team. Goodson went on to play at UNCG, where she holds the school record for field goal percentage in a game (100% on 11-11 shooting) and free throws made in a game (15).
During her academic career at UNCG, Goodson earned a B.S. and M. Ed in Exercise and Sports Science. At Greensboro College, Goodson earned a teaching certificate in Physical Education.
After finishing her own education, Goodson transitioned to a work career in high school athletics.
“I got my (career) start, my first five years, right down the road at Person High School,” said Goodson, who taught PE and health. “From there, I went to Carver High School in Winston-Salem, then Northern Vance. After I left there, I was at Graham for five years. It’s good to be back home.”
Goodson also coached the varsity women’s basketball team at Graham High School. While she continues to teach PE and health at RCS, Goodson does not coach basketball.
Goodson went into her initial interview at RCS with the sole intention of teaching.
“I really had no idea about the athletic director position until my interview. I was so glad because this is where I’m from. I get to be around family a little bit more now.”
Goodson does a little bit of everything, but her favorite part about being an athletic director is working with students.
“I enjoy being in the classroom and the gym, but it can be a very stressful job. You have to stay organized. Scheduling can be a beast, as you need to schedule months in advance. We go to monthly AD meetings for the conference. I work in academic tutoring, making sure students get their grades up.”
Given that RCS includes both middle and high school athletics, Goodson makes sure to schedule games accordingly.
“In the spring, we’ll wait on our master schedules for the following year. Think about the soccer field out here, we have lots of teams that we have to juggle. Just the spring alone, you’ve got middle school and high school girls’ soccer, in addition to middle school and high school boys’ lacrosse.”
Goodson recognizes the importance of athletics, but emphasizes to her students that schoolwork comes first.
“I use that carrot and dangle it in front of them. If you want to play the sport, then you have requirements and standards in the classroom. That’s how it was presented to me. I wanted to play softball, basketball and volleyball, so I knew I had to do well in the classroom.”
In her fourth year as RCS’ athletic director, Goodson brings great success to Bulldog athletics, most notably a run to the 1A volleyball state championship in 2017. In just the last year, RCS sent five teams to the state playoffs: volleyball and softball advanced to the second round, women’s soccer made it to the third, men’s basketball reached the state quarterfinals, and baseball worked its way to the state semifinals.