Here’s How to Nominate a School Support Staffer for Statewide Award
(State of Michigan, Sept. 10, 2020)
he Michigan Department of Education is accepting nominations of outstanding educational support staff members for the state Education Support Staff Professional of the Year Award and national RISE Award.
The purpose of these Awards is to recognize and promote the commitment and excellence exhibited by school employees who provide exemplary service to students.  These school support staff members work in occupational specialties such as paraprofessional, clerical services, transportation services, food and nutrition services, technical services, and skilled trades.
“Every day, Michigan’s dedicated educational support staff work hard to ensure our kids have the support they need to get a great education,” said Governor Whitmer. “And now, as Michigan continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and as our kids return to in-person learning, our support staff are critical in  keeping them safe. As a mom whose daughters grew up in Michigan’s public schools, I want to personally thank all of those who have dedicated their lives to our kids. Our state is home to so many exceptional men and women working in our schools, and I’m excited to recognize them with these awards.”
“School support staff greatly contribute to the success of our students and schools – ensuring students arrive at school safely; that they are fed; that their schools are clean; and that they have assistance in classrooms,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “It is important to recognize our education support staff professionals and value their contributions to student success.”
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 using the online form between now and Friday, September 25, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.
Nominees must, at a minimum, demonstrate excellence in the following areas: (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 top two applicants in Michigan will receive the Michigan 2020-21 Education Support Staff Professional Award.  Governor Whitmer will also forward these two names to the U.S. Department of Education as Michigan’s nominees for the Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award.  The new award, authorized by Congress in 2019, honors classified school employees who provide exemplary service.
A single classified school employee will be selected from among the nominees to receive the RISE Award by spring 2021.  This individual will be recognized and their story communicated in order to inspire excellence among classified school employees.