As published by the Associated Press.
It's not easy to get the vacuum or other cleaning tools out of Kathy Bakes' hand - even to give her an outstanding employee award.

"When I've got a vacuum cleaner in my hand, don't even try bothering me," she said. "I'm at home."

Bakes, a janitor with the West Bend School District, was diverted by lead janitor Theresa Wendler with a discussion about cleaning while others prepared for the recent award presentation in a classroom at the newly opened Rolfs Education Center.

Then Bakes was guided into the room where school personnel and others waited, including her sons, brothers, sisters and in-laws.

"That took my breath away," Bakes said.

Her dedication to cleaning goes back to childhood when her mother would use a white glove test to make sure the dirt and dust were gone, she said. Now she asks her bosses to use the same test.

As the outstanding employee in the custodial/maintenance category, she receives $300, a plaque and recognition at a School Board meeting.

She said working in the school atmosphere has its own rewards.

"I love being around the kids and all the projects they do," she said, adding that youngsters often pitch in to help when they see her cleaning.