Cintas Corporation announced the top 10 finalists of its eighth-annual Custodian of the Year contest.

From saving a choking student’s life by performing the Heimlich maneuver to creating sensory rooms for students with disabilities, Cintas said the top 10 finalists "emulate what it means to be extraordinary." 

“With over 2,000 deserving nominations, it was difficult choosing only 10 finalists,” said Christiny Betsch, marketing manager, Cintas. “This contest shows us that custodians are much more than cleaners. They’re true role models who go above and beyond to have a positive impact on students, faculty, teachers and communities across the U.S.”

The greatest number of public votes determines the winner of the 2021 Custodian of the Year contest. 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 winner’s school will also receive a comprehensive training and development package from ISSA valued at $20,000. The Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) will provide free enrollment in its Fundamentals Online Course, which teaches cleaning professionals to prepare for, respond to and recover from biohazards in the workplace. 

A cash prize of $1,000 each and free tuition to one ISSA Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) training event, valued at $1,500, will be awarded to the remaining nine finalists. 

“For the second year in a row, we are amazed at the dedication and commitment from each of the 10 finalists,” said John Barrett, executive director, ISSA. “Custodians are the glue that holds many schools together, and it’s an honor to give these 10 finalists the recognition they deserve.”

The top 10 finalists in the 2021 Custodian of the Year contest include are:

Christopher Bowman – Bellflower Elementary School, Mentor, Ohio

Bobbi Sue Burbey – Wrightstown High School, Wrightstown, Wisconsin

Robert Buster – Westview Elementary School, Northglenn, Colorado

Francesco (Franco) Catalano – F.E. Peacock Middle School, Itasca, Illinois

Donna Colello – Ocean Avenue Elementary School, Portland, Maine

Charles Harris – Warren Technical School, Chamblee, Georgia

Mike Heiry – North Allegheny Intermediate High School, Pittsburgh

Edward Straub – Blue Ridge Middle School, Greer, South Carolina

Terry Tackett – Benton Elementary School, Benton, Kentucky  

John Wheeler – Bishop Moore Catholic High School, Orlando, Florida

Voting for the 2021 Custodian of The Year is open through April 16 at