a person holding up a big trophy

From creating a working kitchen for special needs children to using their own money to buy necessities for students, the top 10 finalists in the 2020 Custodian of the Year contest go above and beyond. Hosted by Cintas Corporation, the Custodian of the Year contest shines a spotlight on the extraordinary yet often invisible heroes who contribute more than cleanliness to their schools. Now through April 17, the public is encouraged to vote for their favorite custodian at custodianoftheyear.com.

“This contest shows just how important custodians are to their schools and communities,” says Christiny Betsch, marketing manager, Cintas. “The number of heartfelt stories we received made it almost impossible to narrow down the top 10 finalists. These 10 finalists have hearts of gold, and we’re honored to share their stories with the public.”

The greatest number of public votes determines the winner of the 2020 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, The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, valued at $20,000. 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. 

“It was difficult narrowing down thousands of stories to 10 finalists,” says John Barrett, executive director, ISSA. “Each custodian has their own unique story, showcasing their astonishing commitment and dedication, which is why these finalists are so worthy of recognition.”

The top 10 finalists in the 2020 Custodian of the Year contest are:

Howell Beasley, Albertville Kindergarten and Pre-K, Albertville, Alabama

Tarelle Campbell, Beverly Hills STEM Elementary, Concord, North Carolina

Bron Clayton, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas

Gregory Fisher, Barack Obama Charter Schools, Los Angeles

Niyaz Gasanov, Gateway Science Academy St. Louis Middle & High School, St. Louis

Cindy Hain, Pennwood Middle School, Yardley, Pennsylvania

Dossie Langford, West Elementary School, Wamego, Kansas

Wallace Manns, Desert Christian Academy, Bermuda Dunes, California

Elia Ramirez, North Verdemont Elementary School, San Bernardino, California

Benjamin Zimmerman, De Pere High School, De Pere, Wisconsin