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School custodians have been the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to provide a cleaner and healthier learning environment for students, faculty and staff. To honor their hard work and dedication, Cintas Corporation is now accepting nominations for its eight annual Custodian of the Year contest, which honors the best-of-the-best amongst school custodians.

“Custodians work around the clock to ensure students, staff and visitors are entering clean and healthy learning environments, even more so during the pandemic,” said Christiny Betsch, marketing manager, Cintas. “This contest highlights the valuable role custodians play every day, whether it’s through cleaning and maintaining facilities or lending a hand to a child in need.”

Created to recognize and reward custodians who work tirelessly year-round, the contest awards $10,000 to the winning custodian and $5,000 in Cintas and Rubbermaid products and services to the winner’s school. The winner’s school will also receive a comprehensive training and development package from ISSA, The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, valued at $20,000 and enrollment in the GBAC Fundamentals Online Course that teaches cleaning professionals to prepare for, respond to and recover from biohazards in the workplace, from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA. An additional nine finalists will receive $1,000 each and free tuition to one ISSA Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) training event, valued at $1,500. 

“Custodians keep facilities running by creating a safe and healthy environment for all building occupants and visitors,” said John Barrett, executive director, ISSA. “Their unwavering dedication and commitment is astonishing and ISSA is honored to help Cintas crown the best custodian for the second year in a row.”

Last year, Cintas Corporation crowned Howell Beasley of Albertville Kindergarten & Pre-K in Alabama the 2020 Cintas Custodian of the Year. Due to restrictions, Beasley accepted his award via a Zoom video conference under the guise of a summer preparation and cleaning meeting, where he was celebrated by Cintas, the principal, superintendent and faculty and staff.

“Each year, we look forward to partnering with Cintas to showcase the annual Custodian of the Year," said Rubbermaid Commercial Products’ Vice President of Marketing, Marta Aebischer. "As we continue to battle the impact of COVID-19, it is critical to recognize their instrumental, front line role in keeping facilities clean over the last year, and we are committed to providing product solutions that make their jobs safer and easier.”

The Cintas Custodian of the Year 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. Cintas is announcing the top 10 finalists on March 16. The public can vote for their favorite custodian through April, and the finalist with the most votes will be crowned Custodian of the Year.

Nominations for the contest can be submitted at through March 2.