Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, in partnership with the Wyoming Department of Education, has opened the 2020 application for the Wyoming Recognizing Inspirational School Employees or RISE Award. The new award, passed by Congress in 2019 and overseen by the U.S. Department of Education, honors classified school employees who provide exemplary service.
According to a news release from the Governor’s office, a classified school employee can be an employee who works in any grade, from pre-kindergarten through high school, in any of the following occupational specialties: paraprofessional, 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.
Nominees must, at a minimum, demonstrate excellence in the following areas: Work performance; School and community involvement; Leadership and commitment; Local support (from co-workers, school administrators, community members, etc., who speak to the nominee’s exemplary work); Enhancement of classified school employees’ image in the community and schools. Letters of recommendation can be cited.
Individuals, local educational agencies, school administrators, professional associations, labor organizations, educational service agencies, nonprofit entities, private schools and their representatives, parents and students, and other groups may nominate someone by June 30, 2020.
The top two Wyoming applicants will be forwarded to USED by November 1, 2020. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will select a single classified school employee from among the nominees to receive the RISE Award by the spring of 2021. Governor Gordon will honor nominees and finalists. In addition, the USED will recognize the honoree and communicate his or her story in order to inspire excellence among classified school employees.