Man in a pandemic mask being awarded check by another man in a covid mask

With over 70,000 votes, Cintas Corporation crowned Mike Heiry of North Allegheny Intermediate High School in Pittsburgh the 2021 Cintas Custodian of the Year.

Nearly 800 students congratulated the man they call "Mr. Heiry" with a surprise hybrid ceremony held virtually and in the school’s auditorium. He was celebrated with the marching band’s drumline and posters created by the student government organization.

“Whether it’s being a role model or providing a safe and healthy environment for students, this contest celebrates the important - and often overlooked - role custodians play in schools,” said Sean Mulcahey, marketing manager at Cintas in an announcement of the surprise award ceremony. “It’s clear that Mike is a beloved member of the North Allegheny Intermediate community, and we are thrilled to honor Mike as this year’s 2021 Cintas Custodian of the Year.”

Heiry consistently goes out of his way to create a clean and safe learning environment for students, faculty and staff. His upbeat energy and kindness have left a positive impact on North Allegheny Intermediate students and staff, which earned him 20 percent of the contest’s total votes cast for the 10 national finalists.

“This is an incredible achievement for Mr. Heiry, and we are honored to recognize him as the nation’s top custodian,” said Marta Aebischer, vice president of marketing, Rubbermaid Commercial Products. “Year after year, we’re completely blown away by the hard work and dedication these men and women put in every day, especially this past year, playing a pivot [sic] role on the front line of the pandemic.” 

Heiry will receive a $10,000 cash prize from Cintas, 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. Heiry will also receive enrollment in the GBAC Fundamentals Online Course that teaches cleaning professionals to prepare for, respond to, and recover from biorisks in all types of facilities, from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA.