A Midwest School food and nutrition services kitchen manager is one of two statewide recipients of a national award for classified school employees who provide exemplary service, according to a press release from Gov. Mark Gordon on Monday.

Mickey Anderson in the Natrona County School District and Gwen Walker, Lovell Elementary Library Paraprofessional in Big Horn County School District No. 2 are the recipients of the 2022 Recognizing Inspirational School District Employees award.

Gordon and Wyoming Department of Education Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder presented the awards on Monday.

Natrona County School District Superintendent Michael Jennings described Anderson as someone who provides outstanding service to both students and staff.

“We are incredibly proud of Mickey Anderson for being recognized with the Governor's RISE Award. Mickey's dedication and service to the students and staff of Midwest School is commendable,” Jennings said.

“Our exceptionally talented and professional employees in the Natrona County School District work diligently each day to provide and support exceptional learning environments for all students," Jennings said.

Gordon said he was proud to highlight the role these individuals play in our schools and recognize their service to our education community.

“Staff members like Gwen and Mickey help make sure our teachers can educate and our students can learn in a healthy and supportive environment," he said.

Dengenfelder added that education is a team effort with teachers in the classroom and office, food service, and paraprofessional staff.

"Without the efforts of exemplary classified staff like Mickey and Gwen, Wyoming students would not have the tools to best succeed in the classroom” Degenfelder said. “They have both been leaders in their schools and communities to ensure students are successful.”

Big Horn County School District No. 2 Superintendent Doug Hazen praised Walker for her dedication to students and her colleagues.

“Gwen is viewed as a hard-working leader within her building,” Hazen said.

In 2019, Congress passed the award program, which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Education.

Nominations for the 2023 RISE Award are now open.

Nominations can be submitted by parents, students, local educational agencies, school administrators, professional associations, labor organizations, educational service agencies, nonprofit entities, private schools and their representatives, and other groups.

Nominations for the 2023 award may be submitted until June 30.

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