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Ad Astra Radio’s March Peoples Bank and Trust Classroom Hero Recipient Taci Slyter

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By Brenna Eller

 

McPherson High School PAWS Teacher Taci Slyter’s Glam Shot from Springfield Colorado High School on the board of MHS staffs’ high school pictures in the cafeteria.

McPHERSON, Kan. — Ad Astra Radio is proud to announce Taci Slyter, Personal Awareness with Supports (PAWS) teacher at McPherson High School, 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.

Ms. Slyter is from the Hutchinson/Buhler area, but graduated from Springfield High School in Springfield, CO. In the fall of 2022, Slyter graduated from Fort Hays State University with her Masters in Special Education. She has taught at McPherson High School for four years.

“I was a long-term sub at Lincoln Elementary, but found out I liked Special Education better,” Slyter said.

In the PAWS Program, Slyter said they teach tutorial and social skills. She also said they do more of an intensive kind of help.

They also do more inclusive activities like vision boards, which Slyter added was a difficult project for the students, but they put in a lot of effort towards.

“The vision boards took us about a month because we really hammered down what is a real actual goal,” Slyter said. 

Her students are currently working on a discount project, which is meant to prepare them for “real world” online shopping.

“I really like doing projects and going out in the community with the kids and doing just different activities,” Slyter said.

Something Slyter appreciates about teaching, and more specifically, what she enjoys about teaching PAWS is that her students aren’t just sitting and learning out of a book like they would be in other classes. Instead, she is able to be more hands-on with them.

“Right now, their projects are getting on Walmart and Dillons and comparing the prices,” Slyter said. 

Slyter asks the students questions like, “Where’s the best place to shop?” If they shop at both places she asks them, “How much do you save?” 

In a nomination submission, Ms. Slyter was called a “phenomenal” Special Education teacher who invests so much in her students.

The nominator also praised Slyter’s parent communication as well as her willingness to help her “kids” succeed. 

“My son adores her and loves the fact that she cheers him on in all he does,” they said. “Taci also spends time planning field trips to help the kids succeed and gain life experiences. I am so grateful for her and ALL the hard work she puts into the kiddos in the PAWS program for McPherson High School. As a parent of a kiddo with autism, I was dreading the transition from middle school to high school, but she made it seamless with little to no disruption. Overall, her willingness to stick up for our kids, treat them as adolescents, and her sense of humor is why she excels so well at her job!”

Another nominator shared that Ms. Slyter has provided a safe space for all students in and out of her classroom and makes sure that her students succeed despite problems they might face.

“We try to have a lot of different areas for us to relax and chill out in,” Slyter said. “We’ve got like a giant bean bag and games.”

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.