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Cintas Corporation named Howell Beasley of Albertville Kindergarten & Pre-K the 2020 Cintas Custodian of the Year, according to a press statement made Monday.

Beasley will receive a $10,000 cash prize and his school will receive $5,000 in products and services from Cintas and Rubbermaid Commercial Products, along with a comprehensive training and development package from ISSA, The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, valued at $20,000.

“The Cintas Custodian of the Year contest shines a spotlight on hardworking custodians and gives them the recognition they deserve, which is especially important amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Sean Mulcahey, Cintas marketing manager. “It’s clear that Howell is a role model for these children and goes above and beyond to ensure students and staff always have a clean and safe learning environment.”

Howell is an integral part of the Albertville Kindergarten & Pre-K community. His unwavering dedication and pride in his work has left a positive impact on students past and present for nearly 40 years. The Albertville Kindergarten & Pre-K community returned the favor by earning Howell nearly 30 percent of the votes to crown him the 2020 Cintas Custodian of the Year.

“Custodians are the heart and soul of every school and it’s important to recognize the hard work that goes into maintaining healthy schools,” says Michael McDermott, president, Rubbermaid Commercial Products. “We’re thrilled to recognize Howell and the finalists with this incredible achievement.” 

Each of the remaining nine finalists will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and free tuition to one ISSA Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) training event, valued at $1,500. Additionally, its Global Biorisk Advisory Council division will provide access to its Microbial Warrior Workshop for all 10 finalists. The workshop teaches cleaning professionals how to prepare for, respond to and recover from biohazards such as the novel coronavirus in the workplace.

“Custodians go the extra mile by maintaining a healthy environment for students and staff, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” says John Barrett, executive director, ISSA. “They’re on the frontline ensuring that all schools are safe to return to, and we are honored to be a part of this contest to highlight Howell along with other custodians across the country.”

Due to social distancing restrictions, Albertville Kindergarten & Pre-K found a creative way to announce the news to Mr. Howell - as he’s lovingly known as around the school. Under the guise of a summer preparation and maintenance cleaning meeting, Howell was met by the principal and superintendent at the school and informed of the news with the faculty and staff watching via video conference.