Announcing the Georgia Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award Winners


Governor Brian P. Kemp and State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced the recipients of the third annual Georgia Inspiring School Employee Recognition Award (RISE), which honors those who provide exemplary service in education public. Ms. Marissa Ramos-Santana, Bilingual Parent Liaison Officer for Carrollton City Schools, and Sergeant Jacob Wise, School Resource Officer for Lumpkin County Schools, are this year’s winners. They were also submitted as Georgia’s nominees for the National RISE Award, in which each state’s governor is asked to nominate up to two ranked school employees.

“I am pleased to honor these two hard-working Georgians who dedicate their service to the education and protection of our state’s children,” Governor Brian Kemp said. “Ms. Ramos-Santana and Sergeant Wise are two of the unsung heroes of Georgia’s K-12 schools, and I appreciate all they do to positively impact the students they interact with.

All schools and districts were invited to submit a candidate for the Georgia RISE Award. The nomination forms were reviewed by a panel of judges made up of representatives from the Georgia Department of Education and numerous educational organizations. The top-scoring nominations were presented to Governor Kemp, who made the final selection of two candidates.

“Education Support Professionals work every day to support the education of Georgia students,” said Public School Superintendent Richard Woods. “Their work often takes place behind the scenes, which is why it is such a joy to honor these two outstanding members of our education family, Ms. Ramos-Santana and Sergeant Wise. I offer my sincere thanks and congratulations to each of them.

Employees in the following job categories are eligible for the Georgia RISE award. These categories are defined in law for the national award: paraprofessional, clerical and administrative services, transportation services, food and nutrition services, custodial and maintenance services, health and student services, technical and skilled trades.

Marissa Ramos-Santana is the Bilingual Parent Liaison for the City of Carrollton Schools District. In this role, she meets individually with families of students whose first language is not English to provide information to help their children transition into the school system.

To help connect families, schools and communities, Ms. Ramos-Santana hosts parent meetings to promote family-school engagement, develops newsletters, highlights information on social media, conducts home visits and attends school and community events. She promotes a family resource center with educational materials and technology available for checkout and works to identify additional resources available within the school and community for families.

To connect with students and teachers, Ms. Ramos-Santana also volunteers in classrooms, organizes activities with students, and attends and participates in extracurricular activities.

“Marissa reaches out to people, and they immediately trust her and know they can rely on her,” Gyla Gonzáles, executive director of Carroll County Family Connection, wrote in a letter of recommendation. “She’s exceptional at what she does, and [it is] truly inspiring how she reaches out to people and connects with them in a special way.

Jacob Wise is the School Resource Officer (SRO) for Lumpkin County Schools. He oversees five additional SROs and works closely with the local sheriff to train officers and ensure Lumpkin County campuses are safe and secure.

In addition to keeping students safe during the school day, Sergeant Wise is an integral part of the Lumpkin County community and strives to build relationships with students. He mentors several students in the district, can be found many afternoons and evenings at extracurricular school events and school board meetings, and is one of the last people to leave campus after a football game. home.

Sergeant Wise also sits on the Drug Free Lumpkin 365 community committee to help combat underage alcohol and nicotine use. He also runs the community’s junior law enforcement academy during the summer.

“As the new principal, Jacob’s calm demeanor and helpful spirit have been a blessing,” Lumpkin County Middle School principal Nathan Gerrells wrote in a letter of recommendation. “Officer Wise works hard to make the role of SRO a positive force in our building and district. He is an asset to our building and I am glad to have had the opportunity to work with him.


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