One Week Left For Voting In The 2024 Cintas Custodian Of The Year Contest

Cintas Corporation has announced voting for the 2024 Cintas Custodian of the Year contest closes at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Friday, April 12. Voters can select their favorite custodian at www.custodianoftheyear.com.

The winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize along with $5,000 in products and services for his or her school from Cintas and Rubbermaid Commercial Products. The winning school will also receive a complete facility assessment valued at $20,000, in partnership with the Cleaning Industry Management Standard, advanced by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council certification from The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, ISSA.

Cintas will also award the winning school a pizza party for all staff and students. The other nine finalists will receive $1,000 each and complimentary tuition to one ISSA Cleaning Management Institute virtual training event, valued at $1,500. The finalists’ schools will also receive a cleaning supply package from Rubbermaid Commercial Products. And, the top three finalists will 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.

The top 10 finalists in the 2024 Custodian of the Year contest include:

1). Davida Boyd – Helena Park Elementary School (Nederland, TX): Davida is known for her loyal, hardworking, and compassionate nature. She goes above and beyond to make sure her school is immaculately clean. She takes great pride in making sure every surface is sanitary for the safety of the students and employees she loves so much. According to others, she does not cut corners in any way. During a hectic year of construction on the school last year, Davida stepped up to clean behind construction crew, monitor their work quality and move teachers out of classrooms and back in to ensure there was no delay that would affect the back-to-school process and education of her students.

2). Bob Galewski – Wabasha-Kellogg High School (Wabasha, MN): Bob is not just a custodian. He is a friend, a support system and the students’ hype man. Students say, “You can always count on him.” When they come back late from a track meet, for example, he will go out of his way to unlock the doors so they can gather their belongings before heading home. He views his job as not just about keeping the school clean. He works to make genuine, meaningful connections with each student and staff member. Every year, Bob even gives the dance team an incredible motivational speech to excite student athletes before competitions. He shows he cares about every single student.

3). Salvatore (Mr. Sal) Gano – Evergreen Elementary School (Scotch Plains, NJ): Mr. Sal has been a vital member of his school district for over the last three decades. He exemplifies qualities of kindness, patience and reliability that make him an integral part of his school. He is one of the “Celebrity Walkers” for Walk Your Child to School Day, he joins in the school’s annual kickball game, and he dresses up for its Halloween parade. Mr. Sal also makes sure the school shines from top to bottom. He consistently demonstrates a commitment to creating a safe, comfortable, and welcoming environment for all members of the Evergreen community.

4). Steve Gasak – Dessie F. Evans Elementary (Puyallup, WA): Steve’s school foundational virtue is, “Be the One” and his staff and students believe he embodies this whole-heartedly. He encourages them throughout the day with high-fives, “tokens” to redeem prizes at the front office and all-around good will. It’s no question he is beloved by many and serves his school far beyond custodial work. He’s a friendly face first thing in the morning as he greets students with a smile, a helpful lift out of the car if needed or a quick reach to pick up a backpack mistakenly dropped on the sidewalk. He interacts with each student and staff with care and is the hardest worker they’ve ever seen.

5). William (Mr. Billy) Krajewski – Quaker Hill Elementary School (Waterford, CT): Mr. Billy is a ray of sunshine at his school. He enjoys dressing up to excite students during spirit week and is known for his “Joke of the Day” which he tells during lunch time. Outside of his job as custodian, he loves taking part in all types of school activities from working at the concession stand at school events to cheering his students on during games — athletes often look for him at the games! He is there for everyone and does his best to provide a positive and healthy environment for all who enter his school’s doors.

6). Rudy (Coach Rudy) Ontiveros – Vineyard Junior High School (Rancho Cucamonga, CA): Rudy is a treasure at Vineyard Junior High School. He’s more than a custodian — he’s a coach for soccer, football and basketball, a mentor to students and is someone all staff and students can depend on. Rudy talks with every staff member and student on the campus. He knows them by name and listens to their concerns. Rudy always goes out of his way to unlock a door or bike rack for both students and staff to retrieve left, lost, or precious items. He never makes those at his school wait for an immediate request, no matter what task he is asked to do. He has helped repair the laminator, copier, overhead projectors and even built a desk with 1,000 parts for a teacher.

7). Joemar Quiros – Frederick Harris Elementary School (Springfield, MA): Joemar received dozens of nominations from staff and students at his school, which speaks volumes to how much he means to them. In just a few years working at the school, he’s made quite an impression on students who all admire him and his work ethic. There is never a task too small for Joemar and he frequently checks in with teachers to assist with any cleaning and maintenance needs. He has an exceptional attention to detail as well, cleaning every inch of the school to ensure a healthy learning environment.

8). David Smith – Loveland Intermediate School (Loveland, OH): David is a stand-up person who everyone at his school looks up. Students often share stories about how positive and friendly he always is. He truly cares about the wellbeing of staff and students at his school. On several occasions, he’ll jump in a workout with the track team, the wrestling team or even come in and shoot baskets with the basketball team! When he had a broken window on his car during the height of the snow and rain season, he held off on getting it fixed so he could keep giving money to those less fortunate through his church. As a result, the school worked to raise money to fix the window and even fix his brakes and get new tires to show how much they truly appreciate him.

9). Drusilla Stinson – Auburn University (Auburn, AL): Drusilla has dedicated her entire career to creating an environment conducive to learning and research at Auburn. She is not only a trusted lead custodian by her employers, but she is loved by everyone on campus. Drusilla even picked up an extra job at University Dining where she serves each student with compassion and thoughtfulness. At each SEC football game, you’ll find her helping prep the stadium for 30,000 students and 100,000 fans while cheering her team on. On top of that, she is an outstanding community member — she has fed the homeless, donates to United Way, and is a mentor for the young girls’ group, Red Circle, at her church.

10). Hilda (Ms. Hilda) Valentin – Milwaukee Math and Science Academy (Milwaukee, WI): Ms. Hilda is not only the school’s custodian, but she’s also the repair person who is known as “the glue of the school.” She has often brought in home-cooked meals to share with staff just because she wants to and will always bring a smile to others when they need it most. She brings creative solutions to unique problems and will often come in even on her days off to ensure Milwaukee Math and Science Academy is in tip-top shape.

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