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Ad Astra Radio’s May Heartland Credit Union Classroom Hero Recipient Pam Allender


By Brenna Eller


HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Ad Astra Radio is proud to announce Pam Allender, Holy Cross Catholic School 1st Grade 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, The Foto Cowboy and Pizza Ranch.    

Mrs. Allender has taught for a total of 38 years. She has been with Holy Cross for five years and prior to teaching there, taught at Graber Elementary School for 33 years.

“I started out as a Speech Pathology major and did a split block where I also did Elementary Ed,” Allender said. 

She went into student teaching with the intent of finishing her Speech Pathology degree but discovered that she didn’t want to leave the classroom.

“It’s just really fun,” Allender said. “I like the classroom a lot.”

Getting to know the kids and their families is Mrs. Allender’s favorite part when it comes to teaching her 1st graders.

Multiple nominations were submitted sharing reasons why Mrs. Allender should be chosen for the Classroom Hero Award. Some shared that it is because of her caring and understanding nature as a teacher, and others shared more specific reasons. 

Occasionally you meet an individual who is doing EXACTLY what they should be doing in life, Mrs. Allender is one of those individuals. She never fails to impress me with her kindness, compassion, and empathy,” one nominator wrote. “She has a large 1st grade class that would seem overwhelming to most. However, she handles it day in and day out while still managing to take the time to make each child and parent feel heard, appreciated, and understood. She is everything you could ask for. I’m a teacher and I am so thankful that I have someone so special helping raise and educate my child. She is the “village” people hope for.” 

Mrs. Allender was also described as being a wonderful 1st Grade teacher with a heart of gold. 

“She treats her students like they are her own family and invites the parents to participate in every way possible,” one nominator said. “From hand delivering Valentines to homes when so many kids were sick with the flu and missed the holiday event, to texting photos of our kiddos throughout the day, to collaborating with parents to find the best way to support the kids. She is an excellent educator and has made school so much fun for my 6-year-old. We are so very grateful for Mrs. Allender and feel so blessed to have had her this year! She is the BEST!”

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.