Nominate Now for ESP Awards 

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) 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 awards recognize and promote the commitment and excellence exhibited by school employees who provide exemplary service to students as paraprofessionals and in clerical services, transportation, food 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,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “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.”

Any group or individual may nominate using the online form between now and Friday, Sept. 25 at 11:59 p.m.

“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.

Nominees must 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 RISE award, newly authorized by Congress in 2019, honors classified school employees who provide exemplary service.  A single classified school employee will be selected from among all nominees to receive the national RISE Award by spring 2021.