The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of School Planning & Management magazine.

Birmingham Janitor Sweeps the Competition for 2016 Janitor of the Year Award

Birmingham, Ala. – There’s a new custodial crown in town! After a record 488,000 votes from across the nation, Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS) today named Jerome Lewis of Crestline Elementary in Birmingham, Ala. the 2016 Janitor of the Year. Jerome captured nearly 30 percent of the votes and will receive a $5,000 cash prize. His school will also receive $5,000 in products and services from Cintas and Rubbermaid Commercial Products.

Described by one student as “a breath of fresh air even when the day stinks,” Jerome has been cleaning Crestline for the past eight years, always with a smile on his face. In Feb. 2013, Jerome was diagnosed with terminal appendiceal cancer, but he has never allowed it to slow him down at work or dampen his spirits.

“Jerome is so deserving of this award, and we’re ecstatic that our community rallied around him to recognize his work ethic and the positive impact that he has on our students and faculty, as well as the appearance of our school,” said Laurie King, principal, Crestline Elementary.

While Jerome will receive the grand prize, the nine contest runners up will each be awarded a $500 cash prize from Cintas as well as cleaning tools and products from Rubbermaid Commercial Products to beautify their schools.

“Many school janitors work long hours and often go beyond their cleaning responsibilities, taking care of maintenance and security tasks and acting as friends and mentors to students and staff,” said John Engel, Senior Marketing Manager, Cintas. “It’s inspiring to see the votes pour in for these dedicated individuals who are often the first to arrive at school and the last to leave.”

“This year, we received an abundance of heartwarming stories about janitors from current and former students, staff and parents,” said Neil Eibeler, President, Rubbermaid Commercial Products. “We’re thrilled to celebrate Jerome’s win, as well as the everyday contributions of the other nine finalists.”

The top 10 finalists were chosen based on the number and quality of nominations by a panel of judges from Cintas Corporation, Rubbermaid Commercial Products and U.S. Communities.

For more information about the Janitor of the Year contest, visit www.cintas.com/JOTY.

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