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Ad Astra Radio’s September Peoples Bank and Trust Classroom Hero Recipient Jessica Rawson


By Brenna Eller


McPHERSON, Kan. — Ad Astra Radio is proud to announce the most recent recipient of the Classroom Hero Award presented by Peoples Bank and Trust.

Jessica Rawson is in her 13th year with the USD 418 McPherson County Special Education Cooperative as Autism Consultant, providing support to students from ages 3 to 21 on the autism spectrum. 

According to Melissa Strathman, Executive Director of McCSEC, there are 16 schools currently in the Coop and Rawson travels to each one of them from the Canton/Galva, Inman, McPherson, Moundridge and Smoky Valley school districts. 

“Between the five districts, we have a lot of places that Miss Jessica can find herself,” Strathman said.

Each month, Ad Astra Radio randomly selects a different educator, from community nominations, to receive the Classroom Hero Award, along with a “Thank You” gift basket. Gift items are courtesy of community partners, including Peoples Bank and Trust, Midway Motors and Stutzman’s Greenhouse.

Rawson said a strong motivator in her life that has helped her to pursue her career is her aunt and godmother who is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in New Jersey.

“She has been an inspiration to me, and actually, when I was in high school, I got to visit her classroom during spring breaks through my junior and senior year,” Rawson said.

Rawson said she worked it out with school and her parents so that she could be her aunt’s teacher aide, which she said started her interest in the area of helping students in the autism community. 

The most rewarding part of Rawson’s job is working with her students and seeing the gains that they make.

“Sometimes students on the autism spectrum present results differently and so we find things that work to best support their needs,” Rawson said. “It’s kind of magical and feels good.”

The Classroom Hero Award seeks to highlight the hard work and dedication of those on the front lines in our local schools. Nominations are continually being accepted at

Ad Astra Radio has been locally owned and operated since 1986 and is proud to be your hometown radio station.

Jessica Rawson accepting Classroom Hero Award
Melissa Strathman, Jessica Rawson, and Megan Ladenburger of McCSEC