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School custodians play a vital role in creating a successful learning environment — inside and outside the classroom. However, their extensive schedules and strenuous duties often go unnoticed. With this in mind, Cintas Corporation  has launched its 11th annual Cintas Custodian of the Year contest, which honors exceptional school custodians.

Have somebody in mind? You can submit nominations at custodianoftheyear.com now through February 9.

“Custodians are the force behind a clean, safe and welcoming space for students to learn and succeed,” said Christiny Betsch, Marketing Manager, Cintas. “For the last 10 years, we’ve had the honor of celebrating one-of-a-kind custodians with remarkable stories. We’re ecstatic to honor custodians once again in our 11th year of this contest.”

School Custodians
(Credit: Adobe Stock / peuceta)

Cintas will award $10,000 to the winning custodian and $5,000 in Cintas and Rubbermaid products and services to the winner’s school. On top of that, the winner’s school will receive a complete facility assessment and Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) Advanced by GBAC certification from ISSA, The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, valued at $20,000. The other nine finalists will receive $1,000 each from Cintas, a cleaning supply package from Rubbermaid and complimentary tuition to one ISSA Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) virtual training event, valued at $1,500. The Top 3 finalists will also receive an all-expense-paid trip for two to the ISSA Show North America in Las Vegas in November, where they’ll be celebrated for their accomplishments.

School Custodians, Cintas Custodian of the Year


“It’s important to show appreciation to school custodians for the important work they do in establishing healthy learning environments,” said John Barrett, Executive Director, ISSA. “ISSA is proud to take part in this contest and looks forward to celebrating outstanding custodians across the U.S.”

Meet The 2023 Custodian Of The Year

After more than 200,000 votes were tallied, Richard “Rich” Toomey from Kelly Mill Elementary in Cumming, Georgia was named the 2023 Cintas Custodian of the Year grand prize winner.

Toomey was honored in a surprise ceremony by students, teachers, administration and his family — including his second-grade son who attends the school. He was presented with a $10,000 check on behalf of Cintas.

2023 Cintas Custodian of the Year, School Custodians

Toomey exemplifies a school custodian who goes above and beyond their required tasks. From climbing on the roof to get balls for kids at recess to digging through trash cans in the cafeteria for a student’s mouth retainer, every job is done with a smile on his face. When a teacher came to him worried about a student with a compromised immune system, Toomey took it upon himself to ensure the classroom received an extra thorough cleaning each day. His efforts to provide a healthy and safe environment show his consideration for everyone in the school…

Click here to read the full story.

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 and submitted by February 9. Cintas will announce the top 10 finalists on March 5. The public can vote for their favorite custodian through April 12, and the finalist with the most votes will be crowned Custodian of the Year in the spring.

“Taking on the responsibility of providing a healthy learning environment for students is no easy feat,” commented Robert Posthauer, Rubbermaid Commercial Products’ Sr. Vice President and GM of Commercial Business. “We look forward to another year of taking part in honoring custodians who help make it possible for students to prosper at school.”

Click here to read more about Cintas, including past Custodian of the Year contest winners. 

Facility Executive Magazine