RISE - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is eligible for nomination as a classified school employee?

classified school employee is defined as an employee of a state or any political subdivision of a state, or an employee of a nonprofit entity, who works in any grade from pre-kindergarten through high school in any of the following occupational specialties: paraprofessional(educational technician), 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. 

How will Maine's nominations to the U.S Department of Education be selected?

The Maine Department of Education, in coordination with the Governor’s Office, has launched an open nominations process, meaning that nominations submitted by a variety of stakeholders will be considered. Nominations must be submitted online during the nomination window.  A selection committee will be convened to consider all nominations and determine up to two nominees who will represent Maine in the U.S. Department of Education’s national selection process.  The U.S. Department of Education will then select one national honoree.

Who can nominate individuals for this award?

Applications and nominations submitted by local educational agencies, school administrators, professional associations, labor organizations, educational service agencies, nonprofit entities, private schools and their representatives, parents and students, and community members will be considered.  

In what areas must the employee demonstrate excellence?

Nominees must, at a minimum, demonstrate excellence in: (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.  Nominees and applicants may wish to cite testimony from letters of recommendation.

What is the timeline for the nomination process?

All nominations for the 2022 RISE Award must be submitted by October 7, 2022. The selection committee nominates up to two applicants in Maine to the U.S. Department of Education. Maine finalists will be recognized by the Maine Department of Education.  The U.S. Secretary of Education will select a single classified school employee from among the nominees to receive the RISE Award by Spring 2023. 

What do awardees receive

Maine's awardee(s) will be recognized on the Maine Department of Education website, in a press release, and with a letter from the Commissioner of Education.  The U.S. Department of Education will announce the national honoree and present the individual with an award in the spring.

Contact: Emily Doughty at Emily.doughty@maine.gov or 207-624-6748 for more information.