Governor Brian P. Kemp and State School Superintendent Richard Woods today announced the winners of the third annual Georgia Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award, which honors those who provide exemplary service in public education. Marissa Ramos-Santana, a Bilingual Parent Liaison for Carrollton City Schools, and Sergeant Jacob Wise, a School Resource Officer for Lumpkin County Schools, are this year’s winners. They have also been submitted as Georgia’s nominees for the national RISE Award, in which the governor of each state is invited to nominate up to two classified school employees.
“I am pleased to recognize these two hardworking Georgians who are dedicating their service to educating and protecting the children of our state,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “Mrs. Ramos-Santana and Sergeant Wise are two of the unsung heroes of Georgia’s K-12 schools, and I appreciate all that they do to impact the students they interact with for the better.”
Ramos-Santana joined CCS in 2021. As a bilingual parent liaison, she works to help build relationships and increase engagement with Spanish-speaking families in the district.
To help connect families, schools, and communities, Ramos-Santana hosts parent meetings to promote family-school engagement, creates informative newsletters, highlights information on social media, makes home visits, and attends school and community events.
To build connections with students and teachers, 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 that they can count on her,” Gyla Gonzáles, Executive Director of Carroll County Family Connection, wrote in a recommendation letter. “She is exceptional in what she does, and [it is] truly inspiring how she reaches out to people and connects with them in a special way.”
CCS Director of Federal Programs, Ginger Harper, said Ramos-Santana is a great asset to the district and community.
“Although Marissa has only been with us for a year, she has gone above and beyond since day one,” said Harper. “There is truly nothing she will not do to help better serve our students and families. She is wonderful at what she does.”
All schools and districts were invited to submit a nominee for the Georgia RISE Award. Nomination forms were reviewed by a panel of judges with representatives from the Georgia Department of Education and other educational organizations. The highest-scoring applications were presented to Governor Kemp, who made the final selection of two nominees.
“Education Support Professionals work every day to support the education of Georgia’s students,” said State School Superintendent Richard Woods. “Their work often takes place behind the scenes, which is why it’s such a joy to honor these two outstanding members of our education family, Mrs. Ramos-Santana and Sergeant Wise. I offer my sincere thanks and congratulations to each of them.”
CUTLINE: Marissa Ramos-Santana was selected by Governor Brian P. Kemp and State School Superintendent Richard Woods as one of the winners of the third annual Georgia Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award. Ramos-Santana is a Bilingual Parent Liasion at Carrollton City Schools.