Announcing the RISE Award for Classified School Employees

We’re excited to announce the inaugural competition of the Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award to spotlight classified school employee’s outstanding contributions to quality education in the United States.

Classified school employees include paraprofessionals, clerical and administrative services, transportation services, food and nutrition services, custodial and maintenance services, security services, health and student services, technical services, and skilled trades. They offer essential services to the school community and play a vital role in providing for the welfare, safety, and success of students.

Beginning in 2020, the U.S. Department of Education invites the governor of each state and the chief executive of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Outlying Areas to nominate up to two classified school employees. Governors’ offices determine their process for selecting up two nominees by November 1 annually. They may be part- or full-time employees serving early learning to high school populations in public or private schools.

Nominees must, at a minimum, demonstrate excellence in all of the following:

(A) Work performance

(B) School and community involvement

(C) Leadership and commitment

(D) Local support (from co-workers, school administrators, community members, etc., who speak to the nominee’s exemplary work)

(E) Enhancement of classified school employees’ image in the community and schools.

The Department will announce and communicate a single national selectee’s story in order to inspire excellence and innovative practices among classified school employees. The Department encourages states to honor their state selectees and runners-up as well.

Individuals interested in nominating or applying should contact their governor’s office to inquire as to the state-specific process. Governor office program administrators may contact RISE@ed.gov with any questions and to indicate a state’s plans to participate.  More information is available here.