From keeping a 100-year-old elementary school in tip top shape, to maintaining a busy school through a major construction project, to sewing costumes for the school play, school custodians are an integral part of an educational community. With this in mind, each year Cintas Corporation hosts the Custodian of the Year Contest to draw attention to the extraordinary yet often invisible heroes who contribute more than cleanliness to create a healthy and fun learning environment for students and faculty.
The top 10 finalists in the 2019 Custodian of the Year Contest all have true hearts of gold, so who will take home this year’s custodian crown? It’s up to you, the voting public! Now through April 19 you are encouraged to read the bios of all 10 finalists and then vote for your favorite custodian.
“With nearly 4,000 nominations, our contest continues to grow every year, showing just how important school custodians are to their communities,” said Jillian Bauer, Marketing Manager, Cintas. “We received an extraordinary number of inspirational stories from school faculty, parents and students, making it nearly impossible to pick the finalists. This year’s top 10 go above and beyond all expectations and have made a positive impact on their schools, whether they’ve been working there for four or 40 years.”
The 2019 Custodian of the Year winner will be determined by the number of votes. In addition to bragging rights, the winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize along with $5,000 in products and services for his or her school from Cintas and Rubbermaid Commercial Products. A $500 cash prize will be awarded to each of the remaining nine finalists.
The top 10 finalists in the 2019 Custodian of the Year contest are (in alphabetical order):
- Angel Aviles – Main Street School, Irvington, NY
- Micah Bootz – Sullivan Elementary School, Green Bay, WI
- Miguel Cuellar – McKinley Elementary, San Francisco, CA
- Howard Edwards – Cardinal John Foley Regional Catholic School, Havertown, PA
- Aristeo Flores – Scotts Valley Middle School, Scotts Valley, CA
- Debi Hess – Berry Intermediate, Lebanon, OH
- Don Killingsworth – Sevilla West Elementary School, Phoenix, AZ
- Graham McVay – Trenton High School, Trenton, MO
- Tim Persenaire – Knapp Forest Elementary School, Grand Rapids, MI
- Nick Sifuentes – Hogan Cedars Elementary School, Gresham, OR
Last year’s winner was Bob Cook, a custodian at Sands Montessori in the Cincinnati Public Schools. The beloved Mr. Bob, as he is known by the school’s 687 students, won the competition with over 200,000 votes cast during the four-week voting period. Cook has worked at Sands Montessori for 15 years. When asked what he loves best about his job he said, “The kids.”