Honoring RISE Award Nominee Bonnie Fortin From Moscow

Bonnie Fortin is a dedicated Administrative Assistant for Moscow Elementary School in MSAD 13. She was recently nominated for the RISE Award and selected by the Maine Department of Education (DOE) as one of Maine’s Nominees. Her story was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education for consideration for the national level RISE Award. The RISE Award (Recognizing Inspirational School Employees ) honors classified school employees who provide exemplary service.

Wendy Belanger, a colleague from MSAD 13 nominated Bonnie for the award. Here are a few thoughts from Wendy about why she nominated Bonnie.

“Bonnie is someone that is always willing do the extra.  We are a very small district and I often ask Bonnie to make posters, signs, coversheets, etc for district plans, handbooks.  She prepares district staff and student handbooks on an annual basis.  She monitor’s the Moscow school budget to the penny.  We have completed many parent survey’s in last 6 months regarding internet connections, free meals, etc.  Bonnie takes the time to call each parent to ensure that the district has accurate data.” 

“Bonnie organizes our school food pantry. She coordinates with the local town food bank to distribute our leftover food so they may share it with the general community. She has even taken food donations to local elderly resident. The students look to her for security and comfort.”

“Bonnie is a veteran and takes time out of her workday to assist the fourth grade students with learning about the proper care of the flag and shares her vast knowledge. She is a true role model for our students.”

“There are very few people that make an impact in the way Bonnie does in a school. She is the core of our school community. She is so approachable and often after a child has moved on from our school, parents and caregivers will still reach out to Bonnie for information and assistance with numerous things. She is always willing to assist them. Moscow Elementary is very lucky to have her.”

When asked what she loves most about her job, this is what Bonnie had to say:

“I cannot quite pinpoint, it’s not as simple as the joy I get in creating documents to simplify someone’s day or putting together databases to show them how much their job means.  I’m fortunate enough to wear many hats in my position; I love assisting staff, students, and parents in any way possible to make their lives a bit easier.  I enjoy seeing how each of us within the school touches the lives of students, and the positive impacts made in the simplest of ways. I love connecting with parents, letting them know their children are respected, and watching how fast they grow. 

Again, I am honored to be submitted for the RISE Award for Inspiring School Employees, this honor to me is a true reflection of the teamwork at Moscow Elementary.” 

RISE Award nominations were submitted from across the state by local educational agencies, school administrators, educators, professional associations, nonprofits, parents and community members this fall. More information on the Maine RISE Award can be found here the national RISE Award can be found here.