Ad Astra Radio Family Brands

Ad Astra Radio’s March Heartland Credit Union Classroom Hero Recipient Ian Anderson


By Brenna Eller


STERLING, Kan. — Ad Astra Radio is proud to announce Ian Anderson, Sterling High School Language Arts teacher as the most recent recipient of the Classroom Hero Award presented by Heartland Credit Union.

Each month, Ad Astra Radio honors a different educator, selected from community nominations, to receive the Classroom Hero Award, along with a “hero” gift basket, courtesy of community partners Heartland Credit Union, Midway Motors of Hutchinson, Stutzman’s Greenhouse, Hutch Putt and The Foto Cowboy.

Anderson has been teaching at Sterling High School for 12 years. He taught for two years at Hutchinson Middle School 7 before he started at Sterling High.

In 2000, he graduated from McPherson High School, then continued his education at Sterling College. After working in town for a while, Anderson went back to school to get his teaching certification.

Teaching runs in Anderson’s family, and he was motivated by those in his family who taught before him to become a teacher himself. 

His dad is a professor at Central Christian College of Kansas in McPherson.

“My mom is a teacher,” Anderson added. “She taught me.”

Anderson’s grandparents on his dad’s side were elementary school teachers as well.

“It’s just kind of in the family,” Anderson said. “I didn’t think I wanted to be a teacher in college and that’s why I had to go back to school, but I really do love it and all of those people that energize me.” 

In a nomination submitted for Mr. Anderson, he was described as being present for the students, having the ability to recognize them as individuals and always saying hello to everyone who enters the classroom.

It was noted that Anderson makes the students feel valued and that he takes the time to know them.

“He helps his students think deeply while exploring a growth mindset that not only is a skill that helps in the classroom, but for entire lives,” the nominator wrote. “He is cheerful and encourages students to think positively throughout the day.”

Anderson said that his favorite part about teaching is being able to have meaningful discussions with his students.

“It really is a two-way street,” Anderson said. “They have a lot to say. They have experienced a lot of things I have never experienced.”

He added that he enjoys talking with the students, listening to them and linking their discussions to literature. 

“Taking opportunities just to talk about things that matter,” Anderson said. “That’s my favorite part.” 

In the spring, Anderson also coaches baseball, which he said he enjoys because it allows him to get to know the guys from Sterling and Lyons.                                                                     

The Classroom Hero Award seeks to highlight the hard work and dedication of those on the front lines of our local schools. Nominations can be submitted at

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