Rise Up: Program helps students reach potential

Columbian High School teachers and coaches have developed a program to incorporate certain values and characteristics students may be lacking.

The Rise Up (Reach Inside Seek Excellence) program was developed to assist student athletes, but was expanded to work with the entire student body at Columbian, said Curt Mellott, baseball coach and program coordinator.

Mellott said with state testing and learning standards taking over classrooms, the faculty and staff wanted to be able to work with students to make them into good people, leaders who have the values and characteristics they need to be the best people possible.

The program started this past fall in informational meetings. The program takes place the first Friday of each month with a speaker who takes on a certain topic. Speakers have included TCS coaches who introduced the program; Gary Barber, TCS superintendent, who spoke about leadership and community; and Larry Kisabeth, who discussed champion values.

“This series is to help students cultivate leadership skills and empower them to think out of the box,” Mellott said.

Upcoming speakers include Joe Stacy, on training like a Tornado; Sarah Clapper, Miss Ohio, on leadership and character development; Tyler Aldrich, on living with no limits – life with autism; and Harvey Alston, on culture and climate.

Mellott said the speaker’s talks have been taped and posted to the district’s YouTube channel.

The meetings have been leading up to an event for TCS community stakeholders, students and parents. The event, to include breakout sessions and a keynote speaker, is scheduled for 9 a.m.-noon March 3. Sessions are to focus on health and wellness, career preparation and social issues. The keynote speaker is to be Tiffin University President Lillian Schumacher.

“This is an opportunity to bring out good messages to the community,” Mellott said. “Many of the students want to get better but they are not aware of how. This program gives them the tools to proceed to become the best they can be in life.”