Robbin Cross, Child Nutrition supervisor for the Franklin Special School District, was named one of two state finalists for the Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) award announced recently by the Tennessee Department of Education.
Cross, who has been with FSSD for five years, was joined by Jennifer Burleson, School Nutrition director for Bristol City Schools, as Tennessee’s finalists for the award.
The RISE award was created by Congress in 2019 and is overseen by the U.S. Department of Education to honor classified school employees, such as administrative, food and nutrition, health and student service, transportation or custodial staff, who provide exemplary service to students and their communities. This is the first year the award will be given.
“We are elated for this recognition of Robbin Cross for the RISE Award,” said FSSD Director of Schools David Snowden, who presented Cross with a certificate at Monday night’s school board meeting. “Mrs. Cross led a tremendous effort to ensure the children in our community received nutritious meals during the extended closure of the school district due to the pandemic. She is constantly looking for ways to improve the program and serve children and families.
"We are so proud of Mrs. Cross and the members of the Child Nutrition Team for providing this exemplary service.”
According to a press release from the FSSD, the Tennessee Department of Education, in coordination with the Governor’s Office, selected these two finalists from a pool of nominees submitted from across the state by local educational agencies, school administrators, professional associations, nonprofits, parents and community members. The U.S. Department of Education will announce the national honoree and present the individual with an award in the spring.
“When school buildings closed last spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw our school nutrition staff from across the state step up in incredible and innovative ways to keep students fed,” said Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “With this nomination, we honor two of these amazing individuals who have truly gone above and beyond for students.”