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Home » Educator Support » Awards & Recognition » Educator Awards » Classified School Employee of the Year

Classified School Employee of the Year

Nominations are now closed

Nominations will reopen in Winter 2021/22

2020 Washington State Classified School Employee of the Year!

Melito Ramirez
Intervention Specialist
Walla Walla High School
Walla Walla Public Schools

The Classified School Employee of the Year program recognizes one classified employee from each of Washington's educational service districts every year. A selection committee choses the state Classified School Employee of the Year from this group of regional finalists. 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 2021-22 school year, and has not already been recognized as a Regional or State Classified School Employee of the Year is eligible for this award.

Meet the 2020 Classified School Employees of the Year!


The Classified School Employee of the Year nominations are accepted online. Anyone can nominate an educator for this award by using the Educator Award 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.

Selection Process

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. 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.

The state selection uses the written application selection rubric. Some regions also use this rubric for their selection. Contact your regional educator award coordinator for more information on your region's selection process.

Recipient Recognition

The State Superintendent recognizes the Regional Classified School Employees of the Year and announces the state Classified School Employee of the Year at an annual award ceremony. The state award winner and regional finalists participate in a year of leadership development and are invited to several annual recognition events including the Reception at the Mansion for award-winning educators. The state award winner is Washington's nominee for the the US Department of Education's national Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) award.