New RISE Award Celebrates Classified K-12 Employees

Speech therapist working with little girl in office.

Nominations Open for 2020 RISE Award

Governor Mark Gordon and the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) announced Tuesday that they have opened the 2020 application period for the all-new Wyoming Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award, according to a June 2 release from the Governor’s office. This award, passed by Congress in 2019 and overseen by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), honors classified school employees who provide exemplary service throughout districts across Wyoming.

“Classified school employees help ensure our teachers can educate and students can learn in a safe, supportive environment,” Gordon said. “I look forward to providing long-overdue recognition to these individuals who serve our education community.”

A classified school employee can work in any grade level, 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, the release stated.

“What a wonderful opportunity to recognize and honor the people who truly make our schools run smoothly,” said Jillian Balow, state superintendent of public instruction.

Anyone can nominate a deserving candidate including individuals, local educational agencies, school administrators, professional associations, labor organizations, educational service agencies, nonprofit entities, private schools, parents, students and other groups.

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To nominate a classified employee, click here.

Nominations are being accepted through June 30 and can be submitted electronically.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will select a single classified school employee from among the nominees to receive the RISE Award for the state of Wyoming by spring 2021.

For more information, contact Robin Grandpre, project and performance manager for WDE, at