Classified School Employee of the Year

Congratulations 2023 Washington State Classified School Employees of the Year & RISE Nominees!

Hilda Lail
2023 Washington State Classified Employee of the Year
Bilingual Family & Community Engagement Partnership Coordinator
Vancouver Public Schools

Christopher Harris
2023 Regional Classified Employee of the Year
School District Custodial Lead & Athletics Events Coordinator
Selah School District

Contact Information

Education Awards

TTY: 360-664-3631

The Classified School Employee of the Year (CSEoY) program recognizes one classified employee from each of Washington's educational service districts every year. A selection committee chooses the state Classified School Employee of the Year from this group of regional finalists. The State Classified School Employee of the Year, with the possibility of one other Regional of the Year Employee, is Washington's nominee for the US Department of Education's national Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) award.

Learn more about this year's winners!

Nominate a Classified School Employee!
Classified School Employee of the Year nominations are now open and will close on March 1, 2024.
Classified School Employee Nomination Form

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for Classified School Employee of the Year?

Anyone who is working as public school classified staff member in a non-executive management position, plans to continue working in that capacity through the following school year, and has not already been recognized as a Regional or State Classified School Employee of the Year is eligible for this award.

How do I nominate an employee?

The Classified School Employee of the Year nominations are accepted online. Anyone can nominate an educator for this award by using the Educator of the Year Nomination Form. OSPI sends the nominee, their supervisor, and their regional coordinator a copy of the nomination and a link to the online application. The application includes biographical information, a few essays, and letters of recommendation. Nominees must submit an application to be considered for their region's finalist.

How is the Classified School Employee of the Year selected?

Selection begins at the ESD, where each region selects their Regional Classified School Employee of the Year and forwards that name to the state. Regional Classified School Employees of the Year are evaluated by a state selection committee. The state committee uses the written application and conducts a panel interview. Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • The educator's work is recognized as exceptional, and they have the respect and admiration of their community.
  • The educator is committed to professional growth and building deeper connections between schools and communities.
  • The educator collaborates with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of respect, success, and care for others.
  • The educator is a leader who makes connections between their daily work and student success.
When is the Classified School Employee of the Year selected?

The Classified School Employee of the Year is selected in mid-late summer or early fall. Regional finalists participate in a leadership retreat. The State Superintendent announces the Classified School Employee of the Year following the leadership retreat during an annual award ceremony.

How are Classified School Employees of the Year recognized?

State and Regional Classified School Employees of the Year -

  • Are recognized at the Award Ceremony and Spring Reception at the Mansion.
  • Attend a leadership retreat and have opportunities for continuing professional development throughout the year.
  • Have opportunities to participate in communications project such as the annual From Seed to Apple collection.
  • Identify and advocate for educational issues of particular interest to them and are encouraged to speak or present in their region and around the state.

Additionally, the State Classified School Employee of the Year -