Power Rangers program powers up

By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer
Hamilton Township High School’s Power Rangers are not found in flashy costumes fighting evildoers, but in classrooms and the Ohio Statehouse, leading the way for fellow students and paving the way for a better and more informed community.

“The Powers Rangers are a group of emerging student leaders in our building,” said group advisor Holly Heaton. “About three years ago, our now principal, Matt O’Hearn, thought the Leader In Me program through Franklin County was a great opportunity for our students to hone their leadership skills. He asked me and two other teachers if we would be the ones to head up this program and teach our students about leadership attributes and qualities that would ultimately benefit them in their current and future lives.”

Members of the group meet every day for a class period. They plan school events, devise solutions to problems, and serve as the voice of students within the high school.

Organizers felt a program was needed where students could be stars and shape what the school looks like, feels like, and sounds like. The Power Rangers hosted two pep rallies this year—one during homecoming and another promoting the annual Vince Payne Autism Game during the basketball season.

“One of the events we are most proud of was an assembly we called The Hammys,” said Heaton. “It was a positive awards assembly meant to shine a spotlight on students in the building who are always doing the right thing. We made it an award show with a red carpet, a literal spotlight, and actual awards that came in envelopes. It was wildly successful! Our student body really enjoyed it. Students who are maybe not featured as often as others had the opportunity to be seen and celebrated by the entire student body. It was an incredible response.”

In addition, Powers Rangers also visit AIM (homeroom) classes every week to lead fellow students through activities that foster leadership skills and constructive collaboration. Power Rangers develop lesson plans and activities and execute them every week using teachers as a support system.

Earlier this year, a few Power Rangers, members of the Student Inclusion Council and Lockbourne Mayor Christie Ward visited the Ohio State House to discuss the village’s plans to install a memorial to the Tuskegee Airmen in Lockbourne’s Veteran’s Park.

Black granite panels etched with text and pictures comprised the memorial, which forms a wall of 10 to 12 panels along the east side of the park and features the history of the base and the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen.

“We have built a strong relationship with the Ohio Memorial Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen and are collaborating with them to tell their story,” said Ward. “Lockbourne Air Force Base was their last home.”

Power Ranger members—32 in grades 10-12—planned games and activities, recognized student athletes, and encouraged school spirit and support for football and basketball programs while using the platform to bring awareness for a worthy cause.

“They’ve been instrumental in amplifying Ranger pride for our sporting events and have helped to shine a spotlight on the amazing qualities our students possess,” said Heaton. “The Power Rangers are true student leaders who are crucial in making our school the best place it could be.”

Students are selected for the Power Rangers team based on a submitted application, current student involvement, and classroom leadership.

“It is important that the group be representative of our diverse student population, so that also is taken into consideration,” Heaton said. “Ultimately, the students chosen to be Power Rangers exemplify leadership. They are role models. They care. They work hard. They already have demonstrated that they possess those skills, and we seek to enhance those skills through the program.”

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