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Ad Astra Radio’s December Peoples Bank and Trust Classroom Hero Recipient Greg McGlynn

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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.

McPherson High School Theatre Instructor Greg McGlynn has been selected as the December Classroom Hero. At the end of the school year, Mr. McGlynn will be retiring.

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, Heartbeat Coffee, and The Foto Cowboy.

Mr. McGlynn has been teaching for a total of 30 years, and 12 years have been with McPherson High School. 

“I grew up on a farm and as a kid spent many summers building treehouses and  creating stories to entertain ourselves on the farm,” McGlynn said. “So, I guess the stage seemed like a good place to continue those storytelling skills and tree house building (only without the trees).” 

In 1987, McGlynn graduated from Sterling College with a B.A. in Theatre and Communications and got his Masters in Teaching from Friends University in 2003. 

Throughout his career, he has taught Theatre, Technical Theatre, Speech, Forensics/Debate and Video Broadcasting. He has worked professionally as an actor in stage and film as well. His teaching career started at Eureka High School in Eureka, Kan., in 1989, where he established the EHS Larry Shue Memorial Theatre Award in 1990.

McGlynn also taught high school at Plano and Carrollton, Tex., Haysville, Kan., and Goddard, Kan., before coming to McPherson. 

Brandon and Mr. McGlynn
McPherson High School Theatre Instructor Greg McGlynn (left) who taught Brandon Napier (right) at Campus High School in Haysville in 2006 reunite during the Classroom Hero presentation on Tuesday, Dec. 19. (Photo by Brenna Eller)

One of McGlynn’s past students from Haysville (Campus High School), Brandon Napier of Ad Astra Radio surprised McGlynn on Tuesday, Dec. 19, along with Brenna Eller and Casey Justus of Ad Astra Radio and Brad Bengtson – Branch President of Peoples Bank and Trust in McPherson.

“He cares more about the students than anybody I’ve ever met,” Napier said. 

Napier said it’s through Mr. McGlynn that he met his wife, Danielle. The two met while in the play Fiddler on the Roof at Campus in 2005.

McGlynn was excited to see Napier, shouting, “Brandon Seymour!” when he saw him, referencing Little Shop of Horrors since Napier was also in that play in 2006.

One of McGlynn’s anonymous nominators for the Classroom Hero award shared that McGlynn is a “Classroom SUPER hero.”

“When Greg puts on a show, he helps the students not only learn lines and stage directions, but history and meaning behind the characters and the storylines,” the nominator said. “He has been pouring his love of theatre into students for many decades.”

McGlynn has earned and has helped his students achieve many awards in his time as director. 

Theatre Honors have included Technical Director 2001 UIL State Texas One Act Play Champion, Jester Awards in Outstanding Production, Directing and Scenic design, seven-time Kansas Thespian State Festival Main Stage Honor Show Director 2010, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also, a two-time Main Stage Honor Show Director at the International Thespian Festivals 2019 and 2022. In 2018, he was honored as Region Five Theatre Teacher of the Year, in 2020 was honored as McPherson High School Secondary Teacher of the Year.

At the 2024 Kansas Thespian Festival in Wichita, McGlynn will receive another honor.

“I will have the neat honor of being inducted into the Kansas Thespian Hall of Fame at the Festival,” McGlynn said.

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 http://adastraradio.com/classroom-hero.

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

Presentation to Mr. McGlynn
Left to right: Casey Justus, Brad Bengtson, Greg McGlynn, Brandon Napier, and Brenna Eller. (Photo by Audrey Herbst)