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Ad Astra Radio’s October Peoples Bank and Trust Classroom Hero Recipient Christine Pianalto


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.

Chemistry teacher Christine Pianalto has been teaching at McPherson High School for four years.

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 The Foto Cowboy.

Pianalto is from Connecticut and went to school at Kansas State University before coming to McPherson.

She has a real passion for teaching chemistry to her students and has enjoyed making friendships with them along the way.

“I love making it approachable for them,” Pianalto said.

Many of Pianalto’s students believe that she does just that, and although the nominations come in anonymously, Ad Astra Radio personnel could tell that Pianalto’s students were nominating her because of comments such as one that said, “For me, I have never enjoyed Chemistry until Mrs. Pianalto. She made the subject genuinely very enjoyable.”

Another student said, “Mrs. Pianalto is the best teacher I have ever had. She started her transition to-teach-program in 2020 and had her first year cut off by the pandemic. I cannot imagine learning to become a teacher during a worldwide pandemic, but that is exactly what she did. She supports me inside and outside of the classroom, encouraging me to reach for my goals and helping me to succeed. She is the leader of the NHS Chapter at my high school and is always helping us find opportunities to serve the community. As one of the only female science teachers at my school, she is an inspiration to me, and has made me want to pursue teaching as a career.”

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.

Ad Astra Radio representatives Casey Justus and Brenna Eller, and Carlyn Lemon from Peoples Bank and Trust waiting to present to the October Classroom Hero recipient Christine Pianalto. (Photo by The Foto Cowboy)


Christine Pianalto Class Hero Group Photo
Casey Justus, Brenna Eller, Carlyn Lemon, and Christine Pianalto pose for the Ad Astra Radio Classroom Hero award. This month’s winner for Peoples Bank and Trust was McPherson High School Chemistry Teacher Christine Pianalto. (Photo by The Foto Cowboy)