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Ad Astra Radio’s April Peoples Bank and Trust Classroom Hero Recipient Sarah Colaw


By Brenna Eller


McPHERSON, Kan. — Ad Astra Radio is proud to announce Sarah Colaw, a teacher for Students Transitioning Into Vocations Education (S.T.R.I.V.E.), as the most recent recipient of the Classroom Hero Award presented by Peoples Bank and Trust.

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, Stutzman’s Greenhouse and Heartbeat Coffee.

Colaw went to Kansas Neurological Institute (KNI) in Topeka, and it was there that she realized she had found her calling.

“My dream came true,” Colaw said.

Colaw moved to McPherson in 1995 and has taught all age levels. She has been teaching for a total of 32 years and now just teaches students ages 18 to 21 at S.T.R.I.V.E.

“This is my baby,” Colaw said, sharing about the S.T.R.I.V.E. program, which began in August of 2014. 

To be eligible for the S.T.R.I.V.E. program, a student has to have an IEP, and the decision is made as a group for students to enter the program according to Colaw. Through the program, students learn vocational, recreational and independent skills.

“If a student needs some additional help, they get to come hang out with us,” Colaw added.

In the program, students get jobs working with the school district, in the community and also at S.T.R.I.V.E.

“We just work to become as independent as possible,” Colaw said. “And they do great.”

In a nomination submitted for Colaw, she was credited for helping create the program out of unmet needs of the students aging out of the Special Education program at McPherson High School. 

“I believe she deserves this award for all the hard work and effort that she gives to her students on a daily basis,” the nominator said.

Her positivity, energy and cheerfulness in the classroom were other reasons Colaw was nominated for the Classroom Hero award. 

In the nomination, it was also mentioned that this would be Colaw’s last year with S.T.R.I.V.E.

The best part about teaching for Colaw is that every day is an adventure, and she never knows what kind of day it will be.

“It’s never boring,” she said. “I laugh every single day. We all do.”

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.