Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Classified School Employees of the Year

Recognizes exemplary classified school employees who best represent all of California's classified staff and symbolize the profession's contributions and commitment to quality education.

Program Information

A component of the California Department of Education (CDE) California School Recognition Program (CSRP), the Classified School Employees of the Year (CSEY) Program highlights contributions of classified school employees who support the education of California’s more than six million public school students from preschool through grade twelve. The CSEY Program pays tribute to the tireless efforts of our states outstanding classified school employees. From school bus drivers to cafeteria workers to instructional aides, these employees are the unsung heroes who play key roles in creating a school environment that contributes to the whole child by promoting student achievement, safety, and health. CSEY Awardees are recognized in May during Classified School Employee Week.

CSEY Awardees are also eligible to be nominated for a National Recognizing Inspiring School Employee (RISE) Award. Information about the National RISE Award can be found on the U.S. Department of Education Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) Award External link opens in new window or tab. website.

Eligibility Criteria

The CDE invites county offices of education (COEs) to participate in the CSEY Program. To be eligible for the CSEY Program, nominees must:

  • Be a current classified school employee of a California public school (preschool through grade twelve), including charter schools, school districts, and county offices of education.
  • Be a rank and file employee, not in a management or supervisory position.
  • Have a minimum of five years of service in nomination occupational specialty, with no minimum full-time equivalent.
  • Be named as a finalist in their local county office of education competition.


County offices of education (COE) that would like to submit a nominee for the 2024 CSEY Award are required to submit a completed 2024 CSEY Application (Online Survey), by 4 p.m. Friday, April 5, 2024. COEs must work with their CSEY County Coordinator to submit Applications. Applications will only be accepted from CSEY County Coordinators.

IMPORTANT! The CSEY Application contains a Documentation component that must be completed and uploaded into the Application. It is recommended that you collect information and complete the Documentation component prior to beginning the Application. Instructions for completing the Documentation component for the CSEY Application can be found on the CDE 2024 Classified School Employees of the Year Application Documentation Instructions web page. Application responses should be complete and detailed in order to support and describe the nominee and their work. Note: A short video is required to include with the application this year.

2024 Classified School Employees of the Year Application (Online Survey)

COEs must submit a separate Application for each nominee. COEs may submit one nominee for each of the following nine occupational specialties:

  1. Clerical and Administrative Services
    The work must be directly related to clerical or secretarial duties. For example: attendance clerk, secretary, and accountant.
  2. Custodial and Maintenance Services
    The work must be directly related to operation or maintenance services. For example: custodian and groundskeeper.
  3. Food and Nutrition Services
    The work must be directly related to food handling and/or preparation. For example: chef, cook, and cafeteria worker.
  4. Health and Student Services
    The work must be directly related to health and student services. For example: nurse and counselor.
  5. Paraprofessional Services
    The work must be directly related to instructional services to students. For example: classroom assistant, instructional aide, and library assistant.
  6. Security Services
    The work must be directly related to the security of students and/or property. For example: campus security monitor, and community outreach assistant.
  7. Skilled Trades Services
    The work must be directly related to skilled services. For example: carpenter, electrician, plumber, painter, and mechanic.
  8. Technical Services
    The work must be directly related to technical duties. For example: network engineer, technology support, and programmer.
  9. Transportation Services
    The work must be directly related to transportation. For examples: bus driver, dispatcher, and delivery person.

For more information regarding the 2024 CSEY Application process, please contact your CSEY California School Recognition Program County Coordinator.

LEAs that would like to participate in the 2024 CSEY Program, but do not currently have a CSEY County Coordinator, should contact their county office of education to inquire about implementing a CSEY Program in their county.

Note: The CSRP uses the CDE California School Directory for county, district, and school names on awardee lists and award recognitions.

Selection Process

All COEs should celebrate and recognize outstanding classified school employees. The CSEY Program identifies exemplary classified school employees throughout California with a structure of local, regional, and statewide recognition activities and selects employees to serve as CSEY Awardees. The CDE provides COEs with the requirements for submitting applications and the documentation descriptions that will be evaluated at the state level. Candidates for the CSEY Award compete in the CDE state program as nominees of COEs.

The CDE will convene a selection committee to evaluate the applications using the eligibility criteria and the performance documentation in the following six areas:

  1. Work performance.
  2. School and community involvement.
  3. Leadership and commitment.
  4. Local support (from co-workers, school administrators, community members, etc., who speak to the nominee's exemplary work).
  5. Any other areas (the school deems exceptional and pertinent to the CSEY Award).

The CDE selection committee then recommends a finalist for each occupational specialty. Zoom interviews may be conducted for the finalists. The finalists are forwarded to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, or their designee, who then approves and notifies the CSEY Awardee for each occupational specialty.

Note: CSEY Awardees may be recorded and photographed. Video and photographs may be used on the CDE's web site, social media, and other publications such as Facebook.

Timeline of Activities

Date Activity
March 5, 2024 Invitation to apply for 2024 CSEY Application.
April 5, 2024 2024 CSEY Application due date.
Late April 2024 2024 CSEY Awardees announced.
May 19-25, 2024 Classified School Employee Week.
May 23, 2024 2024 CSEY Awards Luncheon.


California School Employees Association Classified School Employee Week External link opens in new window or tab.
California School Employees Association information about the importance of Classified School Employee Week.

California School Recognition Program County Coordinators
Contact information for California School Recognition Program county office of education coordinators.

Classified School Employees of the Year County Office of Education Participation
Participation information for county offices of education in support of the Classified School Employees of the Year Program.

Classified School Employees of the Year Awardees
Classified School Employees of the Year Awardees by year.

Questions:   Awards Unit |
Last Reviewed: Friday, April 5, 2024
Recently Posted in Awards and Recognition