Governor Gordon Recognizes Nationwide RISE Award Winner

February 23, 2022

NEWCASTLE, Wyo. – Governor Mark Gordon recognized the selection of Newcastle Middle School Paraprofessional Keeley Anderson as the 2022 Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) national awardee during a ceremony in Newcastle today.

The Governor joined Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Schroeder at the ceremony, which included U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona appearing remotely via video. The award, established by Congress in 2019 and overseen by the U.S. Department of Education, honors classified school employees’ outstanding contributions to quality K-12 education.

Anderson serves in a role that prioritizes students who need additional support to be successful, leading Newcastle Middle School’s in-school-suspension program and the school’s late academic start Wednesday programming. She pitches in as part of the district’s summer maintenance department and served as the head volleyball coach at Newcastle High School. During the pandemic, Anderson helped students in quarantine manage remote work.

“It is an honor to be able to recognize someone who is so dedicated to her school community,” Governor Gordon said. “Keeley’s tireless commitment to encourage students and her willingness to take on additional duties reflects the excellence of Wyoming’s school employees, whose actions have lasting positive impacts on students’ lives.”

Classified school employees include paraprofessionals, 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 professionals. They offer essential services to the school community and play a vital role in providing for the welfare, safety, and success of students.

“Over the time I have been an educator, I have always been blessed with great team members,” said Weston County School District Superintendent Brad LaCroix. Today we celebrate one of our incredibly talented teammates with a very well-deserved recognition.”

“Keeley has a unique ability to connect with students and get them to see that she is on “their side,” said Newcastle Middle School Principal Tyler Bartlett, who nominated Ms. Anderson for the award. “She helps instill qualities like integrity and character while empowering students to advocate for themselves and learn how to solve their own problems. Ironically, it is when her students no longer need her that we know she has succeeded.”

More information can be found here, including how to submit nominations for the 2022-2023 cycle.