Human Resources, Maintenance and Operations

Contest Seeks Nominations for School Custodian of the Year

School custodians play a vital role in creating a successful learning environment—inside and outside the classroom. However, their extensive schedules and strenuous duties often go unnoticed. To honor exceptional school custodians, Cintas Corp.  has launched its 11th annual Custodian of the Year contest and is seeking nominations through Feb. 9.


“Custodians are the force behind a clean, safe, and welcoming space for students to learn and succeed,” said Christiny Betsch, marketing manager at Cintas. “For the last 10 years, we’ve had the honor of celebrating one-of-a-kind custodians with remarkable stories. We’re ecstatic to honor custodians once again in our 11th year of this contest.”


Cintas will award $10,000 to the winning custodian and $5,000 in Cintas and Rubbermaid products and services to the winner’s school. On top of that, the winner’s school will receive a complete facility assessment and Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) Advanced by GBAC certification from ISSA, The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, valued at $20,000. 

The other nine finalists will receive $1,000 each from Cintas, a cleaning supply package from Rubbermaid, and complimentary tuition to one ISSA Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) virtual training event, valued at $1,500.

The Top 3 finalists will also receive an all-expense-paid trip for two to the ISSA Show North America in Las Vegas in November, where they’ll be celebrated for their accomplishments. 

“It’s important to show appreciation to school custodians for the important work they do in establishing healthy learning environments,” said John Barrett, executive director of ISSA. “ISSA is proud to take part in this contest and looks forward to celebrating outstanding custodians across the U.S.”

Last year, Richard “Mr. Rich” Toomey of Kelly Mill Elementary in Cumming, Ga., was named the 2023 Cintas Custodian of the Year. To celebrate Mr. Rich, students, family, and staff honored him with a surprise ceremony, complete with a confetti cannon line and balloon arch, as well as endless cheering and high-fives.

Contest Rules

The contest is open to all elementary, middle, high school, college, and university custodians who have worked at their school for at least two years. Nominations must be 500 words or less on why the nominee is deserving of the award and submitted by Feb. 9. Cintas will announce the top 10 finalists on March 5. The public can vote for their favorite custodian through April 12, and the finalist with the most votes will be crowned Custodian of the Year in the spring. 

Submit nominations here.

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