Time is running out to submit your vote for the 2013 Janitor of the Year – voting ends on Monday, Dec. 2. Sponsored by Cintas Corporation, the contest aims to recognize those who help make our schools a cleaner, safer and healthier place.

“The response we’ve received from this contest has made one thing abundantly clear,” said Dave Mesko, Senior Director of Marketing, Cintas Corp. “People absolutely love their school janitors. We’ve got schools reaching out to their communities through newsletters and social media to encourage voting, teachers setting aside computer time so students can participate and even kids campaigning for votes amongst friends and relatives – it’s wonderful.”

The winner of the Janitor of the Year contest will be crowned during the second week in December, and will receive a $2,500 cash prize along with $2,500 in Cintas products and services for his or her school. To cast your vote, please visit www.cintas.com/janitoroftheyear.

The top 10 finalists are:

1.      Larry Aupperlee – Minnesauke Elementary School (East Setauket, NY): “Larry Aupperlee has been a custodian at Minnesauke for the past 17 years, and always goes the extra mile to ensure that things run smoothly. He has been seen helping a parent or staff member change their flat tire, clean off their car from snow, unload their cars with school materials and never hesitates to assist in other small and large ways.  Larry is a beloved member of the Minnesauke family.”

2.      Grady Harris – Hilltop Elementary School (Wyoming, OH): “Grady Harris is so much more than a janitor. He is a loving guardian and friend to the nearly 300 students and teachers that enter the doors of Hilltop School every day. For more than 23 years, Grady has been a loyal and faithful janitor, and always goes above and beyond his job description to serve as the crossing guard at the school every morning and afternoon, no matter the weather.”

3.      Stuart Langford – Chico Country Day Charter School (Chico, CA): “Stuart Langford is truly amazing and invaluable to our school. He puts in long hours and stays extra, much like many in this profession. But lately, he has been battling a growing homeless epidemic in our area, which has entailed getting here early in the morning to clean the campus so that when kids and staff arrive, there is no evidence of the nocturnal activities of a growing homeless population.”

4.      Arthur Moore – Upson Lee North Elementary School (Thomaston, GA): “Dependability, professionalism, leadership – three words that carry such merit, yet when compared to the work ethic of Arthur Moore, seem so inadequate. In eight years, Arthur Moore has established the reputation of being one of the most driven, responsible employees within our school system. Mr. Moore accomplishes every task with a “can do” attitude, and works hard to create an optimum environment for learning.”

5.      Patrick Peterson – North Valley High School (Reno, NV): “Patrick Peterson is not just our head janitor; he is the heart of North Valleys High School. From the first day you set foot in our halls or fields, the teachers will brag about Patrick’s efficiency and credit him for our beautiful school. Although Patrick always goes above and beyond District and school expectations in making our school clean and safe, Patrick’s best attribute is his attitude.”

6.      Lynette Prior – Georgetown Middle School (Georgetown, SC): “Lynette always has a smile for all of the children and teachers, and is loved by all who know her. I cannot express how wonderful she is. At our school she is one of our greatest assets. When other janitors have problems such as stripping and waxing their hall she helps them after she cleans her own and asks nothing in return. She believes in the "golden rule" and models to our children every day. She is a great role model.”

7.      Dan Smith – Henry Senachwine CUSD 5 (Henry, IL): “Dan is an employee everyone wishes they had. He is honest, dependable, hard-working and has been a very valuable person to our School District for the last 20 years. He goes above and beyond his duties. He has saved this district thousands of dollars in his ability to fix and repair breakdowns. Whenever a building problem arises, we call on Dan and he is always willing to lend his expertise to the subject at hand.”

8.      Susan Suehs – Magnolia Elementary School (Joppa, MD): “Mrs. Suehs is a tireless staff member who has worked diligently in her three years at Magnolia Elementary to improve the school environment making it a healthy, safe place to teach and learn. Under Mrs. Suehs’ leadership our custodial staff received a “Certificate of Appreciation” for outstanding performance for the 2011-2012 school year and was recognized as the “Most Improved” elementary school.”

9.      Alan Thibault – W. Edward Balmer Elementary School (Whitinsville, MA): “Alan has been part of our custodial team for 18 years and throughout his time, has kept the building immaculate. Alan has a great working relationship with staff and students, and is always ready to step in with new suggestions and ideas to make the school a better place.”

10.     Mike Woodruff – Archbishop McNicholas High School (Cincinnati, OH): “How can any one person be everywhere for everyone? Just ask Mike Woodruff, he knows. Mike Woodruff has served McNicholas High School for over 20 years, and he is the consummate professional…extremely hard-working, resourceful and kind. He is always available to lend a hand to others, no matter how much he has on his own to-do list, and it is always with a smile and a ‘Good Morning, Sunshine.’”